Rough sleeping

Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP)

We must all do everything we can to prevent deaths caused by winter weather.

Although winter often poses the greatest risk to people’s health, it also provides increased opportunities to engage with entrenched rough sleepers and other hard-to-reach groups because they may be more likely to accept support at this time of year.

It is for this reason that SWEP operates in Northampton each winter.

Although there is no strict definition of what counts as ‘severe weather’, SWEP will normally operate when the temperature falls below freezing and is forecast to remain below freezing for a period of at least three consecutive nights.

Throughout the winter, we will closely monitor the Met Office's weather forecasts, taking into account any weather (including extreme cold, wind and rain) that is likely to increase the risk of serious harm to people who are sleeping rough.

If someone is sleeping rough – or is at risk of having to sleep rough – and does not meet the access criteria of Northampton's Emergency Nightshelter (because, for example, they are unwilling to engage with local services) they can register for SWEP.

Before they can be considered for SWEP, the person will need to meet with a member of our Street Outreach Team to complete a risk assessment.

SWEP will operate from Oasis House between 9pm and 7am. Anyone wishing to use SWEP must arrive before 11pm.

To ensure that SWEP is safe and effective, everyone who uses it must comply with a set of rules. We and our partners reserve the right to exclude anyone who does not comply with these rules or poses an unacceptable risk to others.

Find out more about SWEP