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9 November 2010, 00:00
Thanet’s Community Pastors were out on the streets of Broadstairs on Friday night (5 November) for their first patrol as part of the latest community safety initiative.
Sporting their hi-vis uniforms, radios to communicate with the police, CCTV and licenced premises, and a backpack containing everything from super glue and safety pins to bottled water and black sacks, they patrolled from 8pm until 1.30am.
Area coordinator for the Community Pastors, S-J Andrew, said: “We were amazed by the reception we received on only our first night patrolling. We chatted with door staff and taxi controllers who already knew about us, and were so encouraged with the positive comments from passers by, although we’re not too sure about the nickname ‘Cornish Pasties’! We gave out water, wet wipes, tissues and a pair of flip flops to a young lady who ran across the High Street bare foot in the pouring rain.”
As part of their efforts to make the towns safer at night, the Community Pastors collect glass bottles and cans that have been discarded on the ground, disposing of them safely in the black sacks they carry.
The reality of the need for schemes like this was proven on their first night as they helped a young man home who was kneeling and face down in the Albion Street Car Park. “We had signed off over the radio and were heading back to the Youth Centre to de-brief and go home, and there he was on the floor just outside the door.” Not from the area and staying in Broadstairs, the young man had become separated from his friends, disorientated and unable to contact his father due to insufficient mobile signal.
“At first he was adamant we weren’t going to help him, but after some water and trying to chat with him he let us help him up onto his feet. He explained that he couldn’t call anyone because of poor phone signal, so we offered our mobile phone. As he brought his father’s telephone number up on screen, we saw the address, which was nearby, so we walked him home and watched him in through the door. We cannot really measure what might have happened had we not been there - he may have managed to find his way home, but anything could have happened to him. We are just thankful that we were there and that we could help.”
The Community Pastors will be back out in Broadstairs this Friday (12 November).