Northern Constabulary and Highland Council have given the seal of approval to a Street Pastors Scheme for Inverness, which will see Christian volunteers taking to the streets to provide practical and emotional support to those in need.
The go-ahead comes after members of the Ascension Trust, the organising body behind the national Street Pastors initiative, travelled to Inverness to give a presentation on the success of the scheme in cities across the UK.
The initiative will be modelled on those already in action in cities such as London and Manchester, where they have been credited with huge drops in street crime figures – up to 95% in three months in some places.
Chief Inspector Ian Cox, of Northern Constabulary, said: “Inverness Street Pastors is a project being taken forward under the SafeInverness banner.
“The police see a role for Street Pastors in defusing potential trouble and being able to give a sympathetic ear to those persons who do not necessarily wish to approach the police or other agencies.
“The Street Pastor is there to get to know people in the community and to build relationships with them to find out their needs and what can be done to help them.”
Inverness Street Pastors co-ordinator Mark Hadfield, of Inverness Community Church, said the scheme was moving steadily forward with applications being collected for the first round of training due to begin next month.
• Full story at the Aberdeen Press & Journal.