Could you be a Street Pastor? 

First published on: 17th March 2023

Mark Latham from Liverpool City Centre Street Pastors spoke to us about what is involved in being a Street Pastor:

What kind of work do you do as a Street Pastor?

Generally speaking, our mission is to serve people in the night economy of Liverpool City Centre. We train volunteers drawn from Christian churches of different denominations to provide a listening ear, provide practical help and ‘in the moment’ assistance to vulnerable people on the streets alongside other agencies. We typically patrol Saturday nights between 11.00pm and 4.00am. The gospel is the reason for what we do but is not at the forefront of what we say.  Street Pastors are non-judgmental and will give time to help anyone and everyone we meet.

We create an attractive and safe environment; sweeping up broken glass and disposing of glass bottles, beer cans and drinking glasses, the aim being to prevent bottles, cans and glasses from being used as offensive weapons.  Street Pastors also sweep up broken glass from the pavements and streets in an effort to avoid members of the public standing on the glass, preventing them a trip to A&E or an ambulance call, or tyre punctures when cars drive over the glass.  We also hand out flip-flops to those who have removed their shoes, to avoid them walking on broken glass or other unsavoury items. 

We contribute to community economic regeneration; Street Pastors is a nationally recognised organisation reporting reductions in anti-social behaviour across the UK as a direct result of the presence of Street Pastors.  Through early intervention of volunteers, incidents avoid becoming statistics.

Through trust and the presence of our Street Pastors it encourages a safe environment with the positive outcome being confidence in more people enjoying a night out in Liverpool.

Preventing crime or reducing the fear of crime; the evidence that having a Street Pastor presence has resulted in the reduction of anti-social crime is documented and has clear evidence-based outcomes.  Street Pastors are recognised as one of the most highly trained groups of people in the UK.  Individuals trained to provide assistance in almost every scenario ensuring that everyone has a safe and enjoyable night out, in most cases being first responders to acts of violence or first aid.

Benefiting local people who face discrimination; Street Pastors is a fully inclusive non-judgemental organisation who provide care, help and practical ‘in the moment’ assistance to anyone in need.  The training our Street Pastors receive allow provision of appropriate assistance and care, signposting individuals to other agencies relevant to their need.  Our Coordinator of Liverpool City Centre Street Pastors has built links with the Police, Local Authority and ancillary agencies to address any discrimination with a zero-tolerance policy, which is another reason why Merseyside Police wants to work with Liverpool City Centre Street Pastors.

Addressing social issues to youth going into further education;  Our Coordinator in addition to running the project visits schools for PHSE Lessons to speak to those moving into further education, making them aware of the potential issues they might face when going to University from peer pressure, drink and drugs to equip them through early intervention and creating awareness of how best to avoid those problems.

Our ‘Safe Zone’; Through use of our Street Pastor vehicle we can provide a ‘Safe Zone’ giving us a safe space to assist or treat vulnerable individuals, it allows us to provide a specific location and coordinate emergency services use the ‘what3ords’ app making the process more efficient.

We continue to demonstrate to our partners the commitment to the service we provide week in, week out, during unsocial hours and weather conditions.  In addition to being able to provide education on how to stay safe, we are able to push out key messages to members of the public, businesses and stakeholders that use the night time economy.


Who can be a Street Pastor?

Any individual who is 18 years or older has been part of a Church for at least two years and who has undergone our volunteer application process.  In addition who have completed our training programme and been out on 2 separate observer patrols and undergone an advanced DBS.


Why is it a good thing to do?

Looking after our local community is something that everyone should be actively seeking to do, Street Pastors across the country have helped local communities create a safer space for people.  Providing more confidence to go out into the City Centre and feeling safer whilst out.  Each Street Pastor gets personal satisfaction knowing that we might have helped someone or prevented something horrible from happening to those who just want a safe enjoyable night out.  Being proud that our local area is better for having these mechanisms in place. 


Liverpool City Centre Street Pastors

Liverpool City Centre Street Pastors are holding a recruitment and information morning. If you are interested in finding out more about the work of Liverpool City Centre Street Pastors or becoming a Street Pastor yourself, why not come along and find out more on Saturday 25th March 2023 from 10am to 11.30am at St Aidan's Centre.

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