Cheltenham has the third largest night time economy in the South West giving our Churches a wonderful opportunity to serve the community.
Cheltenham Street Pastors commissioned the first twenty-one pastors on 1st December 2009 and has operated successfully since then on Saturday nights from 10pm to 4am. Further pastors have since been commissioned and patrols started operating on Friday nights from the beginning of August 2010. We now have over 50 trained Street Pastors who come from 30 churches in Cheltenham and the surrounding area.
In the five full years since starting we have helped over 15,000 people. We have collected up almost 15,000 discarded bottles and glasses which otherwise might have caused injury or been used as weapons. Overall we have given out 6,700 pairs of flip flops, 6,500 bottles of water and 500 foil blankets. We have also provided first aid to 150 people and attended over 200 anti-social incidents.
The local Police Inspector has said that “Street Pastors help to make Cheltenham town centre a safe place. They act as a safety net to pick up vulnerable people who may be casualties of the night time economy”. The police have also said that they have no doubt that Street Pastors have made a contribution to the fall in crime in Cheltenham.