Street Pastors Celebrate 500th Shift In Weymouth
10:17am 15th June 2013
5 years on and tonight, a group who patrol Weymouth's streets in the dark to keep locals safe, celebrate their 500th outing.
The Street Pastors head out every weekend from 10pm until 4am handing out water, flip flops and lollies to those who need it.
Heather Higgs, a volunteer with the group, describes how times have changed, "When we started we were an unknown, you know, 'what are they out for..?'. Now we're just welcomed everywhere, door staff, everything, even the taxi drivers... So everybody's helping everybody, it's brilliant."
Heather told us why she first joined the Pastors, "I though it was such a good idea, and being a Mum and worrying about three children I thought I could be out there helping, so I volunteered"
Ken Crafer, who's the Weymouth Street Pastors Co-ordinator told Wessex FM, "It's great fun being around people, and there's some amazing people out in the night-time economy, and if we can help them... then that's got to be a good thing, hasn't it? And to be perfectly honest now, after doing this for five years, most people know us and they high-five us all the way around town"
Inspector Les Fry, Neighbourhood Inspector for Weymouth and Portland, added, "I would like to congratulate them all for this fantastic achievement in reaching this milestone and look forward to the next 500 patrols. The Street Pastors are a key part of the plan in making Weymouth a better place and I thank them all, for the commitment and time given for the benefit of those out and about in Weymouth enjoying themselves. It is hard to really measure the value but statistics show they have given many vulnerable people a helping hand. Certainly the presence of Street Pastors has helped to calm aggressive situations and make people feel more secure."