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Pastors in Lowestoft could tackle unrest

PUBLISHED: 16:15 14 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:32 06 July 2010

A SCHEME that has been hailed as a success in Suffolk could soon be rolled out into Lowestoft.

Talks are underway to launch a Town Pastor initiative in the town.

A SCHEME that has been hailed as a success in Suffolk could soon be rolled out into Lowestoft.

Talks are underway to launch a Town Pastor initiative in the town.

“It is very early days but police are working with church groups in the town to try to establish a scheme and we hope to have an information day in the autumn involving interested parties and the Safer Neighbourhood Teams,” police spokesman Anne-Marie Breach told The Journal. “Early talks have been positive.”

Similar schemes already run in Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich, and in April this year Woodbridge and Newmarket launched Town Pastor Schemes, which have “already proved successful,” according to the latest police statistics.

Established in the towns to clamp down on alcohol fuelled crime and disorder, the scheme aims to look after people who are in a vulnerable state late at night.

“Members of the Town Pastor Scheme believe that there is a need for a Christian presence on the streets to offer support to vulnerable people, help to defuse potentially difficult situations, and work with other agencies in the town by providing a positive influence in the town backed by prayer,” a police spokesman said.

The role of a town pastor is complementary to that of a police officer, but linking in together both would provide a presence on the streets so that people can enjoy their night out, defuse any potentially aggressive situations, encourage safe behaviour and foster good relationships between the public and other partnership agencies.

If the scheme gets the go-ahead, then town pastors could soon be visible on the streets of Lowestoft with distinctive high visibility yellow jackets that are marked with the Christian fish symbol.

Statistics for the first three months of the Newmarket Town Pastors Scheme, which were released last month >, led to 219 dangerous items being removed from the streets, 34 individuals received medical assistance and police were alerted to 11 incidents.


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