Saturday, 10 December 2011


Chesterfield Street Pastors
Report for Saturday 10th December 2011

Two teams each of 3 Street Pastors patrolled from 10pm until 3am, supported by a team of 4 Prayer Pastors at the operational base. One of the teams was accompanied by an observer (post graduate student from Sheffield University undertaking research as part of his project) for the first hour of our patrol.

It was a busy night with lots of people on the streets and an abundance of revellers wearing Santa outfits. The average age of the folk on the streets appeared to be a little older than the usual Night Time Economy clients, perhaps reflecting Works and other Christmas outings.
Statistical Information
  • 11 Pairs of flip-flops issued
  • 5 Bottles of water issued
  • 3 Occasions when basic first aid was provided
  • 3 Calls from cctv (flip-flops required, drunk person requiring assistance, injured person requiring first aid
  • 44 Bottles/glasses collected and made safe
  • 2 Requests for prayer
  • 19 Significant conversations
Narrative Information
Both teams were subjected to aggressive comments from a small number of people, including language which we do not intend to quote in this report. Conversely both teams received numerous unsolicited positive comments on the nature of the service provided.  These included favourable comparisons with places where Street Pastors were not currently operating.
The first half of the shift was spent in the usual manner, chatting to people and making our presence known to doormen and women, other night economy staff and the public. We were called to assist a mature woman who had collapsed outside a bar. Her family who were with her said that she had never reacted to alcohol in this manner before and were clearly very concerned for her safety. She was very sick and unable to walk. We assisted in the usual way by cleaning her up, carrying her to a safer place and providing water and space blanket. When we returned to the bench 45 minutes later her family had clearly secured some means of transport home.
We had a very meaningful conversation with 2 sisters who had been thrown out of one the clubs for disruptive behaviour. It transpired that one of them was expected to go to prison this week (we didn’t ask why) .She said that she would like to be forgiven for all her past life and was interested in Christianity. Her and her sister had a lot of family upheaval due to complex family relationship breakdowns. Both of them, though very drunk, were clearly searching for a new start. We prayed with them at their request. We suggested that if she did go to prison it may be possible to make contact with prison chaplain.

We were called to offer first aid to a sober lady who had fallen in one of the clubs and lacerated the back of her head.
There was more evidence of aggression on the streets than we would normally experience with patrols coming across fights taking place on a number of occasions.

We always make a point of regularly patrolling through the church yard of the Crooked Spire. The lighting there is not very bright and we always sense that a single person passing through in a drunken state may be quite vulnerable.  One such patrol revealed a man being sick down the wall of the church and although he claimed to be an atheist he made a point of apologising to God! It is also frequently used as a public toilet which we find sad.
During the early hours the police apparently received a report of an attempted rape which had taken place in the churchyard and in respect of which a suspect was arrested. After that event and not associated with it at approximately 2.45am one of the teams was  walking through the graveyard and noticed a girl who they suspected was being taken advantage of in her drunken state by a man. When she saw them, she immediately asked to be accompanied to the large car park to meet her friends with whom she was returning to Mansfield by taxi. The guy who was left in the graveyard was clearly unhappy, but we felt that we had arrived just at the right time!

We encountered the usual collection of drunken people, providing basic first aid, cleaning them up and making sure that they would get home safely. There remain however occasions where it is impossible to satisfy some people’s needs. For example: one team attended at the request of CCTV a woman who was very drunk. She was accompanied by a number of friends one of whom was the non-drinking driver for the group, so she had the means to be taken home safely. Our attempts to assist her met the same reaction she had made to a police officer. Kicking out at the person trying to help and swearing aggressively and repeatedly and we eventually concluded that the wisest course of action was leaving them to their own devices.
All in all it was a busy night with a degree of aggression in excess of the usual Saturday night, but with many causes for encouragement. It will be interesting to see what it is like in the Late Night Entertainment Area on a Friday night when we provide additional patrols for the Christmas and New Year period commencing the coming Friday.