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A Police perspective: Plymouth Street Pastors

I have been responsible for the Neighbourhood Policing Teams within Plymouth City Centre for the last ten years. During that time I have been involved in numerous initiatives and worked with many different voluntary groups.

In my opinion the work of Street Pastors within Plymouth has to be one of the best organised, best supported and most impacting initiatives that I have had the pleasure to work with. You could say that they have been the victim of their own success in that they have had numerous requests from different communities and agencies to patrol their respective neighbourhoods.

Every Saturday night without fail they are on the streets of Plymouth City Centre assisting vulnerable individuals who if left to fend for themselves would be at high risk of becoming a victim of crime. Many of these individuals are very intoxicated or depressed and what they need is someone to talk to, someone to make sure that they don’t come to any harm. In the past these individuals would have been left to fend for themselves or been arrested for their own safety, now there is a third and much better option. As well as being an extra set of eyes and ears on the street their mere presence can often de-fuse situations.

With the success of the early and night time economy patrols we have seen Plymouth Street Pastors conduct patrols in other parts of the City where the congregation of large groups of youths were of concern to local residents and more recently we have seen the highly successful introduction of School Pastors to the Plymstock area of Plymouth. The feedback from this scheme from local businesses and schools has been outstanding. Local police in the area have seen a substantial drop in anti-social behaviour incidents”.

Inspector Russell Sharpe
Neighbourhood Inspector Plymouth City Centre