Police in Sutton are urging people to contact authorities if they spot rough sleepers in need of shelter as temperatures begin to drop this winter.

Operation SWEP has been launched by Sutton Council due to the often freezing conditions, with areas for support having been set up during the initiative.

Nonsuch police say they have seen an increase in rough sleepers on Central Road and are appealing to the public in a bid to help those in need.

A Facebook post, published on December 15, reads: “In recent weeks we have seen an increase in people sleeping rough on Central Road.

“We have been working with SPEAR London and StreetLink to help those who have become homeless.

“This weekend, Sutton Council has activated Operation SWEP due to adverse conditions [and] we would urge you to contact police if you see anyone sleeping on the streets so we can help them get into shelter during the adverse weather conditions.”

A notice has been put up in Central Road since the scheme was launched, urging rough sleepers to take the 151 or 213 bus services to Sutton Civic Centre.

It’s there where the council is providing shelter so people “do not unnecessarily remain in below freezing temperatures”.

It comes as emergency cold weather shelters were launched by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan across several boroughs last week on a day when temperatures were expected to hit zero degrees or below (December 13).