AN INITIATIVE is being launched aimed at making the streets of Stroud safer on Saturday nights.
A committee has now been formed for the Stroud version of Street Pastors – part of a nationwide initiative already running in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Cirencester – and the project has received the backing of four churches required to formalise the scheme.
Pastors will be on the streets on Saturday nights from 11pm to 3.30am.
Paul Summersby, of Churches Together in Stroud, said: “It’s been identified that wherever Street Pastors go there’s significant reduction in street crime. It’s about being there to offer Christian understanding and support, to listen and to be non-judgmental.”
The scheme is open to all Christians and applications must be supported by a minister or church leader.
“There’s an interview process, police checks, and then 50 hours of training in areas such as first aid, dealing with crisis and health and safety etc,” added Mr Summersby.
“We hope to have our first team of trained volunteers on the streets for August Bank Holiday weekend, with four people working in pairs to help free up the police and emergency services.”
Volunteers will have a uniform jacket, hi-vis vest and cap and will be provided with flip-flops to help girls in heels, lollipops and water.
The scheme is supported by police and SDC. Anyone interested in becoming a Street Pastor should email firstname.lastname@example.org