Support scheme could be rolled out due to success in town centre

Street Pastor with PCSOs Nicola Clark and Alyson Davey in Whitley Bay.
Street Pastor with PCSOs Nicola Clark and Alyson Davey in Whitley Bay.

Day time patrols providing a warm welcome in Whitley Bay could be rolled out due to their success.

For the five Saturdays leading to the festive period, Street Pastors have been operating in the town centre through the day, complimenting their regular night time patrols which have been running for the past two years helping people who have had too much alcohol.

Officials are now considering rolling out the initiative due to its success.

The move follows on from an extension of the scheme to Tynemouth where Street Pastors have been operating for a year and includes evening beach patrols.

Across the two areas, since the Street Pastors were introduced they have carried out 250 patrols, spoken to more than 17,000 people, helped nearly 2,000 vulnerable people, given first aid to 80 people and issued more than 900 space blankets.

Whitley Bay Neighbourhood Inspector Jim Gray said: “The Street Pastor’s scheme is a real success story.

“We value and fully support their work in assisting people, whether it be a day or night patrol in our town centres or beaches.

“Street Pastors work very well with the Policing Teams and are a great asset to the community ensuring people stay safe and are looked after if they become vulnerable through excess alcohol.”

Chris Lincoln, Whitley Bay Street Pastors co-ordinator, said: “The Saturday patrols were for the five-weeks before Christmas, not only to look after revellers in town before they head off to Christmas parties, but also to help those out shopping as well.

“We found the patrols very worthwhile and plan to review them at our next management meeting as we feel there is a real potential to do future day time patrols.”