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Street pastors step in to keep partygoers safe

STREET PASTOR FTRE 10
Caring words... Kath Willis stops for a chat with a camera-shy homeless woman in Penny Street.

STREET PASTOR FTRE 10 Caring words... Kath Willis stops for a chat with a camera-shy homeless woman in Penny Street.

Street pastors are working with the police to promote safer drinking and to ensure the city’s partygoers stay safe.

The Lancaster branch of Street Pastors, a charity which now has over 11,000 volunteers nationwide, has been operating in the city for just over five years.

Using trained volunteers from various churches around Lancaster, they go out into the city centre in teams of four every Saturday night between 10:30pm and 3am on Sunday morning, aiming to offer reassurance, safety and support through listening, caring and helping.

Using funding obtained from the Community Alcohol Network (CAN), the Police have provided the Lancaster branch with a range of items, including bottled water, flip-flops and blankets, to help any vulnerable people they may encounter during their patrols and help ensure they get home safely.

Sgt Dave Forshaw, licensing officer for Lancaster and Morecambe, said; “The help Street Pastors provides is invaluable in helping people that have drunk too much and in a vulnerable position.

“Police officers often find individuals in need through excessive drinking, and having the Street Pastor volunteers available to help those people means officers can be used for other duties. We are very grateful for their help.

“We are introducing several initiatives to both reduce the opportunities for excessive drinking but also help those that don’t heed our advice.”

 

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