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Pastors aim to defuse street crime

An innovative scheme to help tackle late-night disorder in Aberdeen was officially launched last night. Street Pastors, an interdenominational Church response to urban problems including binge-drinking and antisocial behaviour, is starting next weekend.

Volunteers from 11 churches will patrol Aberdeen city centre to help people in difficulties and defuse trouble before it starts.

The north-east group is the first of its kind to be launched in Scotland. Volunteers, politicians and representatives from Grampian Police attended the launch at Gilcomston South Parish Church in Union Street.

The Aberdeen pastors will patrol Union Street and surrounding areas from 10pm-4am on Friday and Saturday nights from October 12.

They have the backing of Grampian Police, who have provided them with training, and Aberdeen City Council.

Co-ordinator James Duce, an evangelist based at the City Church, said volunteers would work on a rota basis and patrol the streets in groups of six. They will all wear the Street Pastors’ distinctive blue uniform.

• Full story at the Aberdeen Press and Journal.

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