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West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion was pleased to hand over a new van this week that will support the local Street Pastors and local police in keeping communities safe.

From Monday until Thursday, local neighbourhood policing teams based in Telford will use the van as a base to travel the area to increase police presence and be there as a contact point in communities if people want to talk or raise concerns.

The Commissioner protected neighbourhood police officer and PCSO numbers this year, and this additional resource will help ensure they are visible and based as much as possible in the community.

On a weekend the volunteer Street Pastors will use the van as a mobile base in Telford’s vibrant night time economy as somewhere to look after revellers and provide them with somewhere safe and warm – particularly during these colder months.

The Street Pastors, who have been operating in Telford since 2011, patrol the streets at a weekend from 9.30pm until 4.00am – sometimes later. They mainly operate in Telford Town Centre but also, where possible, in Madeley, Ironbridge, Oakengates, Newport and Wellington. They provide a mix of experience for the task of caring for those who leave themselves vulnerable or expose themselves to trouble.

To ensure the van was being fully utilised, the PCC decided to make it a shared asset that would benefit both groups and ensure that it is in constant use.

PCC John Campion said: “The van will be of great help to both the neighbourhood policing teams and the Street Pastors. Allowing them to have a mobile base means that they can cover more of the Telford area and be easily accessible to the public and those who need support – in whatever form that may be. This investment is a perfect example of how our police and local volunteers can be supported to help keep our community safe.”

The Rev’d Keith Osmund-Smith, Lead Coordinator of Telford Street Pastors, said: “Telford Street Pastors are delighted to share this valuable and practical resource with our partners West Mercia Police. We are grateful to the Police and Crime Commissioner for the creative and strategic thinking that affirms the work of the Street Pastors in the night-time economy of Telford. This new vehicle will enable us to continue serving our community together for years to come.”

Telford’s local policing commander, Superintendent Tom Harding, said: “I’m grateful to our PCC for his commitment to invest in frontline policing, it’s really important to us that our safer neighbourhood teams are visible and the new van will mean they can be right in the heart of our local communities. It will provide a base for people to drop in and speak to their local officer and hear more about the work that’s being done to make their area even safer, it is also an opportunity for people to discuss any concerns they have about crime and anti-social behaviour so that we can look to see what we can do to address these.

“The Street Pastors play a crucial role in helping ensure those enjoying a night out in Telford can do so safely and I’m pleased to share the van with them and that it will enable them to provide somewhere safe and warm for those needing support during a night out. We’ve seen a significant reduction in crime linked to the night time economy in Telford and I know this is down to the great partnership working we do with both the local authority and volunteers with Street Pastors.”

Issued on: Wednesday 7 November