WITH the weather growing increasingly cold, Redditch Council is encouraging residents to use a new national phone line to report rough sleepers in their area.

StreetLink was launched on December 11 and offers the public a means to act when they see someone sleeping rough by alerting their local council. 

It is the first step someone can take to ensure rough sleepers are connected to services and support available in Worcestershire.

The person who contacts StreetLink will receive details of the action that Redditch Council normally takes when they are told someone is sleeping rough.

StreetLink will also contact the council within 15 working days to find out what has happened as a result of the alert and, if requested, provide the person who made the report with an update.

Councillor Mark Shurmer, Redditch Council’s portfolio holder for housing, said: “Our housing options team work hard throughout the year to prevent homelessness and address the needs of anyone sleeping rough. As a result, very few people sleep rough in our area.

“However with the current cold weather, it is especially important that no-one is out on the streets overnight and that we keep people safe at this time of year.

“There’s lots we can do to help, so if you spot someone who might be sleeping rough, please call StreetLink.”

The StreetLink service is funded by Government and is part of their commitment to end rough sleeping.

The website is already up and running and telephone line will be introduced from December 11 across England.

To use StreetLink call 0300 500 0914 from December11 or see www.streetlink.org.uk.