An update by Nick Cornish – Secretary of Westminster Street Pastors.
Westminster Street Pastors continue to patrol on the 1st and 3rd Friday nights of each month and so we were out on patrol on 6th November with teams in Victoria and Charing Cross and then later in Soho, having taken in Westminster and Hungerford bridges as part of the Met Police Suicide Prevention Strategy.
Being a mild night the streets were busy as we visited Heaven Night Club in Villiers Street and Cirque le Soir in Ganton Street, handing out bottles of water to those on their way home, picking up glass and bottles,giving lollipops to the pedicab drivers and being a calming presence to reduce any disturbance to residents.
Street Pastors launched nationally in 2003 and in Westminster in 2011. Following support by National Pubwatch the Westminster Street Pastors have three new recruits currently under training who will eventually join the existing 20 trained volunteers.
Friday night saw conversations with the usual eclectic mix of those out for a good time and those not having such a good time; with street musicians, door staff, street wardens and the homeless. Statistics from Street Pastor initiatives around the country show that where Street Pastors patrol, there are reductions in crime and Anti-Social Behaviour and to the admissions in local A&E departments and police custody suites. But just as importantly public confidence increases.
We hope this type of volunteer activity will increasingly be mirrored in the streets of Victoria, the Northbank and the West End and we are grateful that the support of National Pubwatch is helping us work towards that goal.