We patrolled once during the national lockdown that started on Boxing Day 2020. In March we began to receive reports of a number of young people out and about in Wantage with slightly longer evenings and warmer weather (although the weather didn’t last long) and so we patrolled once at the end of March, but with pubs and restaurants unable to open, it was a very quiet evening for our team.
We are now building up the number of teams patrolling each month and with some Street Pastors re-joining, having been shielding for a year, we aim to patrol five times each month. Details of forthcoming patrols are available on our website: bit.ly/wgsp-patrols
Street Pastor teams have been well received by members of the public, especially with those whom we have helped in the past, and we have enjoyed meeting people and catching up with life.
Because of the changes to how people go out for the evening (eg booking a table in advance, not being able to stand at the bar or move from pub to pub so much), there has been generally less drunkenness. However large groups have congregated in parts of the town with the inevitable scuffles breaking out from time to time. Street Pastors have aimed to be a calming presence on such occasions and encourage people to disperse quietly. Sadly, we have had to call the police several times when fights have broken out. The police have been very quick to respond and have brought things under control very quickly.
We have noticed these large groups are not now congregating in quite the same way, which helps keep things peaceful in the town.
As well as helping to keep things calm, we have helped charge individuals’ mobile phones, chatted to people, cleared litter and broken glass off the streets, dealt with a lost credit card and given out lollies and bottles of water. We also visited Sweatbox Youth Centre and chatted to staff and young people.
|April 2021||May 2021|