Tuesday, 1 March 2011

STREET PASTORS PROJECT IS LAUNCHED IN CHESTERFIELD

Derbyshire Constabulary - 1 March 2011

An initiative to bring ‘Street Pastors’ into Chesterfield to help young revellers get home safely and offer them support if they need it is has been officially launched.

A ceremony was held at Chesterfield Town Hall with police, council and community safety leaders all welcoming the scheme.

Street Pastors are inter-denominational Christians who volunteer to go out on the streets at night to help reduce violence and anti-social behaviour through speaking to and helping partygoers who may be drunk or upset.

There are more than a hundred Street Pastor projects already running across the country including one in Derby.

In Chesterfield a minimum of four Street Pastors will work in the town centre every Saturday night from 10pm to 4am, chatting to people, listening, talking and helping to keep the peace.

Before starting, the volunteers will undergo intensive training, covering everything from first aid and youth provision to drug awareness and offensive weapons.

It is expected they will be ready to take to the streets of Chesterfield by the summer.

Speaking at the launch Inspector Steve Ball said: “We have been looking forward to the scheme coming to the town centre for a long time. It will further increase our partnership working and help us to make Chesterfield a nice place to visit day or night.

"The Street Pastors will be a friendly and calming influence in the town centre. They have been shown to help reduce the number of arrests which will free up my officers to deal with more serious incidents and offer reassurance to the community.

"I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of setting it up. I am sure it will go from strength to strength and help us to achieve a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour in the town centre."

Chesterfield Community Safety Partnership has given £2,000 of the £12,000 needed to set up the project with the churches finding the rest. Derbyshire Constabulary has also made an £8,000 contribution to the running of the scheme.

Cllr David Stones, chair of the CSP, said: “The Street Pastors will be a valuable partner and everyone involved hopes they will lead to less violence and less disorder in the town. We are proud to offer our support to the project.”

Chesterfield project coordinator John Bown is available to talk to churches and other groups about the initiative and can be contacted on 01246 345093 or via email on john.bown@w3z.co.uk|