Helen Machin – Tamworth Herald (14th November)
TEAMS of Street Angels are to take to Tamworth town centre from the end of this month as a scheme to make visitors and revellers feel safe gets underway.
At a meeting last week, six teams of four angels were formed and will take turns to patrol the town’s streets between 10.30pm and 2.30am.
Each team will have a trained First Responder with appropriate kit and a Townsafe radio linked to the Townsafe network and the other groups on the night patrols.
They will carry special foil hoodies for revellers who are suffering from cold.
Additionally, each team will carry flip-flops to replace lost shoes or high heels, water, tissues, wet wipes, plasters, rubber gloves and any other items required to clean up vomit or enable first-aid.
The Street Angels will wear labelled high-vis jackets.
Last weeks meeting about the Angels welcomed special guests Jean and Paul Blakey who set up the first Street Angels in Halifax in 2005.
Street Angel schemes now run in 125 towns in the UK and in 2012 the couple won the Big Society Award.
Leyfield’s vicar Vic Van Den Bergh is behind the Tamworth scheme.
He said: “We will be patrolling areas where people are vulnerable as a result of binge drinking, becoming emotionally upset, losing mobile phones, keys, wallets, friends, even breaking their high heels.
“In every city, town or village where there are Street Angels, not only have the results been a safer environment, but also official statistics have shown significant reductions in petty crimes of assault, vandalism and theft, which obviously equal savings to us all. It was quoted that each call for an ambulance, resulting in a person going to A&E, without further treatment, costs the NHS £450. Many are low-level first-aid needs and such incidents could be safely dealt with on the street with considerable savings.”
The teams of four are radio coordinated and linked to CCTV and will be trained in conflict resolution.
Vic added: “Ultimately, what we all want, our town to be safer at night for our children, teenagers, residents and visitors – where there are no ‘no-go’ areas and people can return home safely.
That is why Tamworth Street Angels will be on the streets of our town on November 30, as the Christmas lights go on and the party season begins.”
Read more: http://www.tamworthherald.co.uk/Street-Angels-scheme-make-Tamworth-safer-place/story-20077017-detail/story.html#ixzz2oezc5YqW