15 June 2009>
Do you have what it takes to become a Volunteer Street Pastor as part of a brand new scheme in the Caerphilly county borough?
Volunteers are currently being sought to take part in a brand new scheme, which will aid member agencies of the Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership, including Gwent Police and Caerphilly County Borough Council, to combat disorder and anti-social behaviour in the Caerphilly county borough.
Street Pastors will work primarily in Blackwood town centre on busy Friday and Saturday nights, offering support and guidance to people. The volunteers will help to prevent individuals from hurting themselves, becoming victims of crime or taking part in anti-social behaviour.
Street Pastors will also wear easily recognisable uniforms to ensure that they are highly visible.
A meeting is being held on Wednesday 17th June at Blackwood Methodist Church, beginning at 7.30pm for people who are interested in taking part in the Street Pastor scheme.
To become a Street Pastor, you must be over the age of 18, a Church member and be able to commit to the training programme. The team of Street Pastors will need to consist of at least three groups of four, each of whom should be willing to work a minimum of one night a month.
Inspector Alan Webber said, "The Safer Caerphilly Community Safety Partnership is full of praise for this excellent scheme. The Street Pastor scheme will complement the commendable work already being undertaken by various agencies to reduce levels of crime, disorder and anti-social behaviour in the Caerphilly county borough. I would encourage anyone who meets the criteria with an interest in becoming a Street Pastor to come along to the meeting on 17th June and find out more."
Cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Lyn Ackerman said, "The Street Pastor scheme has been very effective in other areas of the country, so it is pleasing that a similar scheme is to be set up in the Caerphilly county borough.
I am sure that the Street Pastors will bring a calming influence to Blackwood town centre on busy Friday and Saturday nights, and will complement the work of the police, council and other local agencies in reducing disorder and anti-social behaviour."
The Street Pastor Scheme was initiated in Jamaica in 2001 as a Christian response to violent crime.
Brixton realised the benefits of this initiative and launched the first UK scheme in 2003 to combat the urban problems encountered in towns and cities throughout the country. It's now running in more than 60 other towns and cities in the UK.
Street Pastor co-ordinator David Hatch said, "Street Pastors have now become a familiar sight on an increasing number of our city streets around the country, and by working alongside the Police and other agencies, they have seen some very dramatic improvements in the levels of street crime, anti-social behaviour and bringing greater safety to the streets in the early hours.
I know that the churches of the local area have a wonderful group of caring individuals who want to make a difference – some who are themselves quite young, but also those who are young at heart, but with a wealth of experience – and who want to serve, and be able to demonstrate in real life situations the Love of God in very practical ways. If you are interested in being the helping hand, the caring listener, and the supportive encourager, then please come along on Wednesday night."
For more information on the Street Pastor scheme, please contact David Hatch on 07967 224167.
Further information is also available at www.streetpastors.co.uk.
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