Please be aware that Canterbury City Council have today (12 January 2017) taken the decision to implement the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) due to the temperature being forecast to be below 0 for the next 3 nights. For those not aware SWEP is a discretionary humanitarian initiative in response to periods of severe weather and during the time the protocol is instigated any individual identified to be rough sleeping will be offered accommodation.
The Council is working in partnership with Catching Lives to deliver this. To let them know about a rough sleeper who you believe is in need of assistance, please call Catching Lives during the daytime on 07565 867091. Out of office hours, call our control room on 01227 781879, which is open 24/7.
It is important to note that even when SWEP is in place, the Council cannot forcefully intervene to provide an individual with support. Many people refuse help and this is their right.
Therefore, should you contact the Council about a rough sleeper, you should not necessarily expect to see that individual removed and placed into accommodation. This is not because the authorities have failed to react to your report, but because the individual has declined support.
The council work very closely with partners all year round on homelessness issues.