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New scheme to help reduce City street crime has launched



The City of London Pastors (City Pastors), a church-based organisation which sees volunteers walk the streets at night to help those in need, has arrived in the Square Mile.

With the support of the City of London Police, City of London Corporation and local churches, the newly launched City of London Pastors took to the streets of the Square Mile for the first time on Friday (14 July 2017). The first deployment followed a service at City Temple at 7pm, attended by City of London Police Commissioner Ian Dyson.

City Pastors is a faith-based initiative which sees trained volunteers recruited from the local Christian church community patrol streets at night and visit pubs and nightclubs aiming to assist members of the public.

The initiative involves groups of trained and clearly identified members of local churches patrolling, generally in groups of four, late at night in the areas that are busy with late night revellers who have recently left nearby pubs and clubs. They offer help, care and assistance to those who are at risk or in need of such help.

City Pastors is a part of the Christian Nightlife Initiative which was first introduced in Halifax in 2005 and echoes the model of the Street Pastors scheme which was launched in south London in 2003. Between the two schemes there are now more than 420 similar projects across the UK, and similar schemes abroad.

Detective Chief Inspector Teresa Russell from City of London Police said:

“Experience has shown that the presence of these schemes in other parts of the country has had a positive effect in bringing a measure of calm to otherwise rowdy situations and thereby significantly reducing the level of public order incidents in the area, identifying and offering assistance to vulnerable people.

“In the City, the scheme is supported by both the City of London Police and the City of London Corporation, and we are excited about the opportunity to work together, and to see how the presence of the Street Pastors may work to defuse situations in the night time economy to make the community safer.”

Tony Thomas, force chaplain for the City of London Police, added:

“The City Pastor volunteers are all people who love Jesus and want to demonstrate and share their faith in practical ways. The way City Pastors works is very simple. Trained City Pastors walk the City streets at night talking and listening to people and offering care, help and support to those in need. By doing this we hope to make the City a safer and more enjoyable place to work, live and visit.”

"One aspect of the City scheme which, if not unique is certainly unusual, is that our volunteers do not live within the parish boundaries of these City churches. This means that they need to travel into the City in order to do this work, and then make their way home in the small hours of the morning .”



More about the initiative

• City of London Pastors is a charitable volunteer initiative involving a number of churches within the Square Mile. It is a part of the Christian Nightlife Initiative (CNI) Network that is made up of approximately 130 similar initiatives in other towns and cities across the UK.

• The scheme is designed to be a visible and caring presence on the streets of the City at times when some people may have become vulnerable and in need of help and support. Generally this will be on Thursday, Friday and/or Saturday evenings, between the hours of 10pm and 2am.

Currently, 16 volunteers are due to patrol in teams of three to five; they will liaise with City of London Police for any particular areas to patrol at the start of their shifts and throughout, and will be wearing uniform and reflective jackets, clearly marked up as ‘City of London Street Pastors’. They are not police officers, PCSOs, or special constables and do not have any police powers or radios.

Find out more


If you would like to get involved or learn more, email cityoflondonpastors@gmail.com
 
 

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