Saturday, 8 October 2011

CSP Report - 8th October 2011

Chesterfield Street Pastors
Report for Saturday 8th October 2011

Outline Information
One group of four patrolled from 10pm until 3.45am supported by up to 6 Prayer Pastors (some for shorter periods and others for longer periods). The first half of the night was extremely quiet and the second half extremely busy.

Statistical Information
14 pairs of flip-flops given out
10 bottles of water given out
8 occasions when first aid was provided
47 bottles/glasses picked up and made safe
4 space blankets provided
41 significant conversations
5 calls for assistance from cctv (requests for supply of flip-flops and to deal with persons incapable of looking after themselves)
2 requests from police to deal with persons incapable of looking after themselves - one being described as doing the worst example of a pole dance (around a street lamp) ever observed! Sadly we did not arrive in time to observe the performance!

Narrative Information
This was the night of two-halves. Although there were many people out on the street in the early evening they were all friendly and well behaved. Having identified that significant numbers of people were attending both theatres we made a point of talking to customers has they left the premises, providing a reassuring presence for them. This was appreciated with positive comments being offered and links made with the Derbyshire Times report.

There was a very heavy shower of rain just before midnight which cleared the streets for a while and caused us to take our break early. Our break concluded when we were called to Corporation Street to deal with a very drunk female and from then through to 3.30am we were almost continually engaged dealing with a succession of drunken females.

With just one female member of our team she took the major role in providing support to the ladies we assisted and the three men were extremely appreciative of her efforts.

Each incident followed a similar pattern. We found the person flat out on the pavement and quite incapable of standing up. In three cases friends were with the person assisted, but on one occasion (more to follow later) the lady was unaccompanied and initially we could not get her to talk because of her drunken state.

The pattern we follow is to try to get the person as comfortable as possible and to make an initial assessment about their physical well being. This is done in conjunction with whoever is accompanying them and the aim is to decide whether the person needs medical attention and the extent to which with support from their friends we will be able to get them home without too much delay. The alternative is to call for an ambulance which is costly to the State and generally not necessary.

Typically we clean up the person and render immediate first aid. On this night we used space blankets partly for the sake of warmth and partly for the sake of modesty to cover the ladies and we also used our own coats for additional warmth

In two cases along with friends we were able to get the drunken person to a taxi and in the other two cases they were collected by family or friends. Whilst this sounds relatively easy when reading a report such as this, in practice it presents quite a challenge. One lady probably weighed about 16 stone and getting her up off the ground and accompanying her to a taxi required considerable effort on our part.

Whilst undertaking these tasks we had numerous comments about the amazing work being undertaken by Street Pastors. This may be summed up in the comments of one passerby who had stopped to render assistance “It’s OK to leave her now she will be looked after well by the Street Pastors”

Our biggest problem on this night was in relation to a young woman who was unaccompanied and who was so drunk that initially we could not establish who she was and where we might contact any friends. After a while she did supply her name and tell us that she had left her friends in the Association. Our request for the door steward to arrange an announcement to be made for her friends to come to her assistance was met with the statement “It’s her fault she’s drunk and it’s not my job to get her help”. With suitable advice from the Street Pastor Coordinator and reference to the law with regard to a licensee’s responsibility for the conduct of his/her customers the situation improved and assistance was offered, but about the same time the friends were located without any announcement having to be made.

We did have some unexpected conversations, one lady telling us that her husband communicates with the dead and another explaining that she had a tattoo of Jesus displayed on her leg. In the main however, people were commending us for our work and offering their appreciation for what we do.

We continue to learn about our role as Street Pastors. We felt ourselves to be very much a part of a bigger team and that the other agencies appreciated our assistance. When we signed off just before 4am the officer in the control room indicated that our help had been very much appreciated. We have the advantage of being able to spend time with people ensuring that they are protected in their vulnerable state and that they get home safely, a service which with the best will in the world the other agencies are unable to provide.