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Wintery weekend sees measures to bring rough sleepers inside introduced

Published: 1 March 2024

Continuing cold snap see measures to bring rough sleepers inside extended Freezing conditions are forecast for the weekend

With freezing conditions forecast for the weekend, the City Council has announced that it is to introduce extra measures to bring rough sleepers inside.

Exeter City Council will once again introduce its Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) on Friday evening right through until Monday morning (4 March), when it will again look at the weather conditions and review the policy if needed.

The Protocol makes extra emergency accommodation available to rough sleepers. It was last activated in January during a long cold spell.

Cllr Martin Pearce, Lead Councillor for Communities and Homelessness Prevention, said: “When someone is forced to sleep rough on our streets, they’re health is put at risk. With freezing temperatures expected over the weekend, that risk increases.

“Once again, we will be providing additional emergency bed spaces over the weekend to help reduce the chance of harm. I would like to thank all those working in the homelessness prevention teams. Without their foresight and swift action these emergency beds would not be available.”

The Council is reminding members of the public that they can report someone they believe to be rough sleeping to Streetlink at

The SWEP means that individuals confirmed by the outreach service – working with other local homelessness partner agencies - as sleeping rough in the city, will be contacted and offered the opportunity to come indoors during this spell of cold weather, where spaces are available.

The Council works hard with partners in the city to make extra accommodation available during particularly cold weather.

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