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Street Pastors scheme to make night time safer

Teams armed with bottled water, flip-flops and foil blankets could become a reality in Spalding town centre at night if plans for a Street Pastors scheme go ahead.

Talks between police, South Holland District Council and church leaders are at an early stage but enthusiasm for the plans are growing, with Spalding and District Chamber of Commerce also giving it support.

Street Pastors are teams of four volunteers who patrol the streets at night, giving help and support to revellers, homeless and other people in need.

They give out sick bags, water and face wipes to people who have had too much to drink but also offer help to those wanting to get home in the early hours.

Chamber president Phil Scarlett said: “A number of businesses from Spalding’s night time economy have said that Street Pastors would be very advantageous to the town and examples of their work have been put to us.

“A number of district councillors also believe it would add value, but it’s purely an idea at the moment that we need to work up into a proposal.

“It’s probably not something that requires a massive amount of money, except for training and all-weather clothing, but the biggest challenge will be finding the right people.”

Street Pastors was set up in London in 2003 and has spread to more than 200 towns and cities across the UK, including four in Lincolnshire.

Councillor Nick Worth, deputy leader of South Holland District Council, said: “The Street Pastors scheme works really well across the county and that’s why we’re looking at it for Spalding.

“But we’re quite a long way off from doing anything at the moment and what we need to do is speak to the churches to see if we can get them on board.”

The talks are being led by Insp Jim Tyner of Lincolnshire Police, who said: “I am fully supportive of the principle of having Street Pastors in Spalding as I believe they provide a valuable service and have been very well received in other communities across the county.”

 

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