One year on and street pastor team has helped make town a safer place

Street Pastors on patrol in Hemel Hempstead.
Street Pastors on patrol in Hemel Hempstead.

Hemel Hempstead’s street pastor team has been instrumental in driving down anti-social behaviour in the town on weekends, according to police.

The scheme, which sees volunteers patrolling the town centre’s pub and club hotspots at weekends, was launched almost a year ago and the team are now looking to expand.

At a relaunch event on Wednesday at the South Hill Centre, Herts police Neighbourhood Insp George Holland addressed the inaugural band of pastors as well as those interested in signing up to the next recruitment phase – which will hopefully take the team from 25 to 40.

Insp Holland said: “Dacorum is, in population size, the largest in Herts by far, and there are lots of issues which come out of that, especially in Hemel.

“Some people don’t like talking to the police, but street pastors provide them with someone to turn to.

“Once you have built that connection you help them to not get into trouble with police, and make Hemel a safer place – not only to live but to enjoy the nightlife. I would say a big thanks to you and I wish the new recruits every success.”

Training for the new recruits will begin at the end of March with the hope of weekly Saturday as well as Friday patrols starting in summer.

The project is also considering expanding its role to cover other events in the town including this year’s World Cup season and A-level results night.