Gloucestershire

Cheltenham Street Pastors to operate second team

A second team of street pastors in Cheltenham town centre is due to start operating next year.

The volunteers, who offer help and assistance to late-night revellers, currently patrol every Friday and Saturday night.

Chair Nigel Bennett said having two teams would give "a much faster response time" to someone in need.

Street pastors help victims of crime or those who have got separated from friends and feel vulnerable.

"Having successfully operated for over three-and-a half years we focus on our new training programme commencing in the winter months." Mr Bennett said.

"It is not about preaching, but about listening, caring and helping people in need," he added.

Cheltenham's new mayor, councillor Wendy Flynn praised the scheme for delivering "excellent results".

"There is no doubt Cheltenham Street Pastors have brought a dimension to the night time economy and it's uniquely positive," Ms Flynn added.

Street Pastors was started by the Reverend Les Isaac in 2003 as a response to growing crime in some London boroughs.

The scheme is run in partnership with Gloucestershire Police, Cheltenham Town Council and other local agencies

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