A SCHEME to make Pendle safer after dark by introducing teams of street pastors has been hailed a success.

Since the scheme was launched in September, more than 30 volunteers from Pendle churches have patrolled streets, in Nelson, Brierfield and Barrowford.

Between 8pm and 12am, every Friday, the pastors, have been approaching people on the streets and in pubs and clubs, offering practical advice when required.

Their duties have included taking drunken people home, talking to young people, clearing glass up off the street and breaking up fights.

They also make referrals to statutory and voluntary agencies which give advice, for example on drug or alcohol addiction.

Det Sgt Dave Groombridge, of Nelson Police, said: “We’re hoping the street pastors will help us to continue to reduce crime, in particular anti-social behaviour.

“They are there to help young people who are out on a Friday night but they have also helped older people.”

Pendle Community Safety Partnership has funded the pastors’ uniforms and equipment.

Coun David Whipp, chairman, added: “We’re really pleased to support the street pastors initiative - something so simple can be so effective in making Pendle feel a safer place.

”The street pastors don’t preach to people - they are just there to provide help and support.”

Following the success of the scheme Ian Humphreys, regional street pastor co-ordinator for Lancashire, is now hoping to recruit volunteers from churches in Colne and Barnoldswick.

He said: “We’ve just finished training 18 new volunteers and we’re currently recruiting more.”

Any church members who would like to become a street pastor should contact Ian on 07936 390763 or email ianhumphreys@hotmail.co.uk.