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Church plan to cut crime

PUBLISHED: 12:33 19 May 2008 | UPDATED: 10:39 11 August 2010

A NEW team of crime fighters have been launched in the borough to the delight of residents. But these aren t Bobbies on the beat; they are Street Pastors, local churchgoers who have undergone weeks of training to try and help make the borough a better, sa

A NEW team of crime fighters have been launched in the borough to the delight of residents.

But these aren't Bobbies on the beat; they are Street Pastors, local churchgoers who have undergone weeks of training to try and help make the borough a better, safer place.

The nineteen volunteers went on their first patrol on Friday, May 2, and their co-ordinator Peter Jordan says that he hopes they will make a big difference.

Mr Jordan, a former policeman, said: "This is the culmination of about a year's work and planning.

"All 19 pastors are volunteers who just wanted to add something to the community and try and make it safer.

"They will be on foot patrol every Friday and hopefully help bring down crime."

Street Pastors are currently operating in a third of all London Boroughs,

Where Street Pastors are in operation there has been a reduction in crime.

When the project was launched in Lewisham there was a 30% reduction in crime in the first 13 weeks. There was also a 95% reduction in crime in Camberwell and a 74% reduction in Peckham.

Barking and Dagenham's Street Pastors will be based in Bethel Church, in Parsloes Avenue, and the scheme has already proved so popular that more volunteers are applying to join up.

Mr Jordan added: "We hope to have around 50 Street Pastors by the end of the year and we see them outside schools and other community areas helping to reassure residents.

"They have been trained in areas like communication and child protection and have also been taught about what services this area provides so they can assist individuals to get the help they need.

"We are hoping that this is the start of something very big, and very positive."

Anyone who is over 18 and interested in learning more about Street Pastors can contact Mr Jordan on (020) 8593 2241 or visit www.streetpastors.org.uk.


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