- Keeping people safe at night is a priority says Commissioner
- The benefits of the work they do can never be measured
- People drinking too much is the commonest problem
- ‘Pastors saved me from being raped’ – claim
They are the unsung heroes of the night time economy. They turn out for nothing and patrol the centre of Gloucester through the darkest hours every week.
The figures in the Gloucester Street Pastors’ annual report speak for themselves.
Over the last 12 months, Gloucester Street Pastors
- Helped 873 people
- Picked-up 2178 bottles
- Gave out 365 pairs of flip-flops and 334 bottles of water
Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl, who funds Street Pastors in Gloucester, Cheltenham and most recently in Stroud, said,
“Keeping people safe while they enjoy a night out is a priority I am committed to and the Street Pastor schemes are proven to make a positive contribution.
“The Pastors’ acts of kindness not only reassure the public but do much to help to ease the burden placed on the emergency services and local businesses.
“Truth be told, because of the nature of their work, we can never measure what problems they have prevented but they are an undoubted resource and I am grateful for the valuable work they do.”
Gloucester Street Pastors have been operating in the city centre for nearly 6 years with support from numerous community and church groups as well as the police.
Chairman Alastair Sammon said,
“As always, the commonest help was for people who were vulnerable because of too much to drink. We sobered them up with time and water, got them up on their feet, phoned a friend, a relative, got them to a taxi or accompanied them home.
“We chatted to other vulnerable people – homeless, lonely, lost, needing advice about life or wanting to ask questions about life, God, the Christian faith – sometimes agreeing to pray with those who wanted to.
“We defused aggressive situations – usually by quietly and patiently waiting around where we could be seen clearly by those involved – people who were afraid of being witnessed, or ashamed of their behaviour.
“One young woman reported later that we had prevented her being raped”.
To find out more about the Gloucester Street Pastors go to http://streetpastors.org/locations/gloucester/news/