Published: May 24, 2009
Burnham-On-Sea's Street Pastors launch first night of patrols

Burnham-On-Sea's first group of Street Pastors held their first walkabout in the town on Saturday night (May 23rd) in an effort to reduce anti-social behaviour and petty crime.

As first reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com earlier this month, the Street Pastor group has been formed to support local police and offer a helping hand to pub-goers, clubbers and others who need help late at night.

The four volunteers - Judy Sharp, Carolyn Down, Nick Down and Kevin Baker - patrolled the town centre between 9pm and 2.30pm, and got a positive reception.

Judy told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It was a really good evening. We had a very encouraging response from holidaymakers and local people, all of whom showed a lot of interest in what we are doing."

"It was good to see the 'night time economy' in Burnham. It was actually a fairly quiet evening with very few incidents."

Further patrols are planned for Burnham-On-Sea over the summer months and a new scheme is also being planned for Brean and Berrow.

The pastors, who are easily recognisable by their blue caps and jackets, focussed on areas close to pubs and clubs where there is likely to be more need for their 'listening ear' and support. They also visited the Burnham Area Youth Centre, as pictured above.

The Street Pastor scheme has been running in England since 2003 and in some areas it has helped reduce night crime by up to 84%.

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

The organisers of the Burnham scheme are keen to hear from volunteers who would be interesting in joining.

If you are over 18 (no upper age limit), a church member, and are able to commit time to a dedicated training programme, contact Judy Sharp via email here.

Our photos show (top) the pastors in Burnham Town Centre on Saturday evening at the start of their operation; and (beneath) with BAY Centre members in Cassis Close, and (bottom) walking along Pier Street

 




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