Friday, 23 December 2011

CSP Report - 23rd December 2011

Chesterfield Street Pastors Report
Friday 23rd December 2011

This was the second of three planned Friday night patrols and it was anticipated that we would be rushed off our feet on a night which has traditionally been known as “Black Friday”.  In the event it was a quiet night with little evidence of the expected problems on the street.

Two teams of 3 Street Pastors patrolled between 10pm and 2am.

Statistical Information
            6 pairs of flip flops were provided
            55 bottles/glasses were collected and made safe
            1 bottle of water was supplied
            24 significant conversations took place
            1 person was prayed with (see later)

Narrative Information
Based upon what we had been led to believe would be the case by various people in the Night Time Economy area including licensees, door staff, police and taxi proprietors we were expecting to be hard pressed to deal with the demand upon our resources, but we did not have a single call from control and there were fewer people on the streets and in the clubs than is the case on a busy Saturday. This might have been partially due to the increased police and ambulance service presence on the streets.

Generally those we spoke to were of the opinion that there is an acute shortage of money and this is materially affecting the footfall in the Late Time Economy Area.

We did come across the usual collection of drunken people. It is worth considering that most of them were brought to our notice by door staff and others who we meet on a regular basis. The fact that they look to us to deal with such people is an indicator of the general awareness of what we do and the fact that they do have a concern that those who seem incapable of looking after themselves are provided with some support.

For example; the door staff at one club reported that a man had passed by the door of their premises and he was almost on all fours. We searched for this man in the direction they had indicated and eventually came across him. He was at this time standing in a door way near the rear of Marks and Spencer’s. We managed to have some conversation with him and decided that he was not in any immediate danger. During the next hour or so we came across him on a number of occasions and each time he was a little more in control of his movements than previously, providing evidence that our decision not to intervene had been appropriate.

The licensing staff from Chesterfield Borough Council also reported to one of our teams the fact that a man was flat out on a grass bank near the court building. We duly found the man as described and initially we were unable to get any reaction from him. He was lying on the grass with his expensive mobile phone at the side of his face as if he had been trying to contact someone. It was a cold night and we were concerned about the vulnerability of the man; at least he was likely to be relieved of his valuable possessions and at worst he could die from hypothermia. A call was made for assistance and at about the time the call was made we managed to wake him, whereupon he delivered to us a load of verbal abuse. When the police response vehicle arrived he had what might be regarded as a miraculous recovery and got up and ran away albeit in a non-too straight line – we accept no responsibility for the miracle!

One team was approached by a man who immediately asked the team to pray for him. He explained that he was expecting to become a father soon and he wanted to make a fresh start. The team prayed with him and suggested he contact a church and explain what had happened. This man was very persistent in requesting to be prayed for there and then in spite of the fact that his friend was encouraging him to resume their merry making.

Both teams received numerous expressions of thanks for the work that Street Pastors undertake week by week. Hugs and handshakes are a regular feature of our patrols. A number of the people we met had read the recent article in the Derbyshire Times and commented on it.

It was a cold and windy night and given the small number of people still on the streets at 2am we decided to conclude our patrols.