Leeds & West Yorkshire

Violent crime halved in Halifax town centre

Street angels in Halifax (All pics Mark Russell)
Image caption The angels have been patrolling around Halifax since 2005

Police figures show that violent crime has halved in a West Yorkshire town centre since 2006.

Halifax Street Angels founder, Paul Blakey, claimed that the voluntary group had played a part in making the town a safer place.

Ch Insp Viv Cutbill, Calderdale division, said: "We welcome the fantastic work the street angels do."

The group was started by Churches Together in Halifax and has operated in the town for more than five years.

Mr Blakey said: "Together we can make a difference."

The group works closely with the police, the town's night marshals and St John Ambulance.

Angels walk

Volunteers keep a look out for distressed or vulnerable people on the city centre streets, mainly helping people that have consumed too much alcohol.

The weekend patrols always start with a police briefing and then angels walk the streets together in groups of between three and five people.

Ch Insp Cutbill said "By having them working alongside us dealing with vulnerable people, including young people who have become detached from their friends or had a little too much to drink, it means the police are free to tackle other incidents.

"However, street angels are not police officers.

"They fulfill a different role, allowing officers to deal with incidents where a crime has been committed."

According to West Yorkshire Police figures violent crime in Halifax town centre has reduced by nearly 57% in the last five years.

Since starting in Halifax street angels patrol many towns and cities in the UK including Bradford and Wakefield.

Street Angels is based at Fairtrade Cafe in Halifax and works Friday and Saturday between 2100 and 0300.

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