Appeal for Street Pastors funding as scheme celebrates six months

By Tristan Harris Wednesday 30 January 2013 Updated: 31/01 19:48

RESIDENTS, organisations and businesses are being urged to support Bromsgrove's successful Street Pastors scheme, which has now been operating in the town for six months.

The patrols, which see the volunteers assist revellers in Bromsgrove, have already helped contribute to a reduction in night time crime in the town centre.

According to the figures for 'night time economy crime' between 8pm and 5am in the town centre, which covers incidents, such as assaults, public order offences, criminal damage and sexual offences, there has been a nine per cent reduction in that type of crime between July and December 2012, compared with the same time in 2011 - a fact partly attributed to the scheme.

Jo Pavely, spokesperson for the Bromsgrove Street Pastors, said: “We’ve been absolutely thrilled at the response from the community since we commissioned the project in July 2012 and are pleased to have contributed to the downturn of anti-social behaviour in Bromsgrove."

The pastors, who go out between 10pm and 4am on Fridays, speak to and help those those affected by alcohol and other substances.

On an average night, the team of four talk to more than 100 people, give out 50 lollipops, five bottles of water and six pairs of flip-flops.

Bromsgrove Local Policing Inspector Sharron Cannings said the street pastors had proved to be very helpful and officers were pleased to have them in the town.

"Over the Christmas period they helped, gave out bottles of water, flip-flops to the girls and certainly seemed to calm people.

"They have enhanced the policing of the night time economy and we hope they are here to stay."

The scheme, with the current set-up, costs around £10,000 to run each year.

But, in the next few months, it is hoped the street pastors will be able to put out further patrols on Saturdays, which will take the annual funding amount to £15,000.

The majority of the first year's funding came from West Mercia Police (23 per cent), Worcestershire County Council (15 per cent), a fund from Churches Together in Bromsgrove stage production (11 per cent) and the Bournville Charity (six per cent).

The remaining 45 per cent was donated by Bromsgrove churches or people who attended there.

Jo added: "The police and the council contributed significantly to the project at the outset so we could train the street pastors, however in order to keep the project going we need financial help from other organisations or local businesses within Bromsgrove."

Anyone wanting more information on the scheme or to donate should call Jo on 01527 878807 or e-mail bromsgrove@streetpastors.org.uk.

Collection boxes for the street pastors scheme will soon be put in Bromsgrove town centre pubs and clubs.

And, as part of the latest drive to raise funds for and awareness of the Bromsgrove Street Pastors, the team has also put together a video about the scheme. That can be found on the group's Facebook profile, which already has 180 friends.

The pastors also want people to fill out a short survey, available through the Facebook profile, which asks residents about how safe they feel at night in Bromsgrove, how the police are doing and suggestions to make the town centre safer.

Anyone wanting more on the scheme, to watch the video or fill out the short survey can do so by searching for 'Bromsgrove Street Pastors' on Facebook.

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