Praise for Street Pastors
I wanted to add my voice to the praise offered to street pastors, not just in Kingston, but in towns across the UK.
I have witnessed the work they do first hand in a number of towns across England, in particular in my role as a lead assessor for the association of town centre managers Purple Flag Award scheme.
I must add at this stage that I have had no involvement with the street pastors in Kingston itself, but in other towns we have assessed, it is clear to see that they inevitably have a positive impact on the night-time economy.
Their role varies from town to town, but in each case they play an important role in the partnership developed to promote the licensing objectives; reducing crime and disorder, public safety, preventing public nuisance and protecting children from harm.
When I initially considered their role, on the first occasion I encountered a group, there was a concern that their activities could fall foul of the fine line between offering care / support and ‘preaching’. Many street pastor groups encourage a cross faith involvement which in itself reduces the impact of these ‘concerns’.
That they come from a religious group is in itself no issue, religion (despite what some in the media may have us believe) of all faiths, deliver significant positive contributions to our communities in many different ways. There is however a strict line which can’t be crossed between delivering support and using an opportunity when people may be venerable to preach religion at them.
In all the times I have seen their work in action, I have never witnessed this. Yes they may have prayer sessions prior to going out on patrol and yes they do pray for people who they think are vulnerable or in harm’s way, people who are injured, hurt or lost, but they do this amongst themselves and with likeminded people who share their beliefs; not with / at the people they actually help late at night.
We do live in a strangely cynical world and I can’t claim to be immune from it myself, but street pastors offer an important additional resource to people using towns late at night, they offer help, protection and care where otherwise drunk people, vulnerable people and others would likely be on their own. They work closely, yet independently of many of the other partners in the late night economy; including the police.
One thing they all have in common is that they welcome new members and funding to help them in what is a voluntary role. There are in my experience no boundaries to entry in other words people of any (or no) faith can join them in their work. So if it is something you are interested in, go to your local authority or police who will I’m sure be happy to point you in the direction of the street pastors; who I am sure from experience will have nothing short of a warm welcome ready for you. Click Here for more information.
At Beyond the Blue Training & Consultancy we deliver a number of different courses and services including;
- Consultancy Service – Covers a variety of areas from developing effective workplace systems, re-focusing our clients business to guide them towards their goals and assisting with licence applications.
- Alcohol Licensing – Courses include the Award for Personal Licence Holders Course / APLH Course which qualifies candidates to apply for their personal licence; the Award in Responsible Alcohol Retailing Course / ARAR designed for front-line staff to meet their statutory requirements; the Award for Designated Premises Supervisors Course / ADPS Course.
- Conflict Management – Our Conflict Management and Resolution Course compliments personal development and helps learners deal proactively with Workplace Violence; the Personal Safety for Lone Workers Course teaches the core skills to help employees deal effectively personal safety issues.
For more information on any of our services, please call us on 01784 434 392 / 0845 602 55 95 (low call rate from UK landlines) or Contact Us.
To view the original article - Click Here
Source – Evening Standard
Date – 25th November 2010
Submitted by – Peter Mayhew