Published: May 6, 2009
Exclusive: Street Pastors to be introduced in Burnham and Highbridge

A pioneering scheme to introduce night-time Street Pastors in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge is set to launch this summer.

In an effort to reduce anti-social behaviour and petty crime in the two towns, the groups of volunteers will be patrolling the town centres late at night.

The Pastors will work alongside local police by also offering a helping hand to weary pub-goers and clubbers.

Kelton Black, Minister of Highbridge's Gospel Tabernacle, is one of the organisers of the scheme, and told this week that six people have already signed up to become volunteers, with many others interested in helping.

Rev Black, pictured in Highbridge with one of the volunteers, said: "Our plans for Street Pastors in Burnham and Highbridge are now well advanced and the local police are also being very supportive."

"We hope to formally start the Burnham and Highbridge group over the next few months."

The pastors will work in groups and focus on areas close to pubs and clubs where there is likely to be more need for their 'listening ear' and support.

They will be easily recognisable by their blue caps and jackets, as pictured.

The Street Pastor scheme has been running in England since 2003 and it has been reported that in some areas where they operate crime has fallen by 84%.

Street Pastors have already proven successful in other parts of Somerset, including Weston-super-Mare and Taunton.

To become a Street Pastor, volunteers need to be over 18 (no upper age limit), a church member, and able to commit time to a dedicated training programme.

Each Street Pastor team usually consists of at least three groups of four, each of which will work a minimum of one night a month into the early hours of the morning. will be following the progress of the new group in Burnham and Highbridge over the coming months.


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