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3 December 2013, 08:52
Eight more volunteers will hit the streets of Cheltenham this weekend as part of the Street Pastors.
Backed by local Police, Cheltenham MP, Civic leaders and Churches, the Street Pastors scheme helps to reduce night crime around the UK.
Eight more Street Pastors will be commissioned at St Matthews Church in Clarence Street at a special service next Saturday.
Nigel Bennett, Chair of Cheltenham Street Pastors, is delighted with the progress achieved. He says, ''Year on year we see an increase of 20% for our resources and we continue to receive a wonderfully warm response on the streets. It is our strategic vision to increase our patrols on a Saturday to two thus enabling us to provide much more effective response times.''
''Extra patrols will be out during the celebrations in Cheltenham on New Year's Eve.
''We currently share training with Gloucester and Cirencester on a regular twice a year basis, and work with other local towns on an occasional basis. I am delighted the numbers of commissioned pastors grows steadily, we started with 22 and following our commissioning service this weekend we will have over 60 pastors available to patrol Cheltenham on a regular basis.''
Street Pastors was started by the Rev Les Isaac in 2003 as a response to growing crime in some London boroughs. Each Street Pastors project is set up by The Ascension Trust and run by a local coordinator with support from the trust, local churches and community groups. The scheme is run in partnership with Police, Council and other statutory agencies.