Wrexham Street Pastors have been awarded £2,000 to support their work in the night-time economy in Wrexham.
The organisation started in 2006 with an aim to play an active part in creating safer streets for the community. There are currently 35 volunteers who work with other civil and community partners in Wrexham including North Wales Police, Red Cross and the Night Safe Team, co-ordinated by Wrexham County Borough Council.
The visible presence of the Wrexham Street Pastors, along with their partners during busy periods at night and at large scale events has contributed to a decrease in anti-social behaviour. In 2017, former Chief Constable Mark Polin said that anti-social behaviour decreases by up to 65% when the Street Pastors are on patrol.
When on duty in the town the Street Pastors undertake a number of tasks such as helping vulnerable people who are over intoxicated or those who have been exposed to drugs. They also speak to others who are distressed or in need of help.
Street Pastors also pick up empty bottles, cans and glasses or anything else that could be used to potentially cause harm and hand out flip-flops to ladies who have removed their high heels and are walking bare-foot through town. This broad spectrum of support reduces the demand on the police and allows them to respond quickly to any more serious incidents.
They are also involved with the Hafan y Dref welfare centre in the town centre, which offers a triage-service and immediate first aid if you’re injured or suffering from too much to drink.
In November Wrexham.com reported that the ‘safe space’ had provided help to more than 12,000 this year alone – resulting in 56 ambulances being cancelled thanks to the centre offering more appropriate alternatives to 999.
The PACT funding awarded to the group has been used to purchase radios, new uniforms, flip flops; a part of the contribution will go towards funding for the office and co-ordination functions.
Dave Evans, PACT Project Manager said: “My fellow trustee, Lloyd FitzHugh, and I were delighted to be able to present our cheque for £2,000.00 to Wrexham Street Pastors co-ordinator, Laurie Searle and his colleague Dave Picken.
“We know that the Street Pastors will put this funding to very good use and work with North Wales Police and other partners to continue to make the Wrexham night-time economy a safer environment.”
Chief Inspector Mark Williams added: “Wrexham Street Pastors are a valuable asset to the night-time economy in Wrexham. They are a visible and reassuring presence in the town at key times and offer a service which significantly reduces vulnerability and demand on other public sector resources.”
North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT) is the community safety charity which supports community-led projects that encourage a safer North Wales. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, PACT continues to champion neighbourhood projects that support the policing and community safety priorities and strives to deliver positive outcomes for all concerned.