Source (with pictures)
Burton Mail reporter Elizabeth Fry went out with the Street Angels from St Mary and Madeleine church, Guild Street in Burton when they set off to talk to people and looking after them whilst visiting the town's night clubs.
BURTON town centre is becoming safer according to street angels who patrol it after new figures revealed a fall in the number of injuries as a result of violence.
Research by Cardiff University showed that the number of people hurt in violent incidents is at its lowest rate for 15 years across the UK.
Phil Pusey, leader of Burton's Street Angels, said he has seen the town centre become quieter in the two years since the project started and his team now rarely sees fights taking place.
He said that although he thinks the rising price of alcohol is responsible for much of this decrease, he believes that the presence of the Street Angels has also played a part.
He said: "Staffordshire Police told us that violent assaults in Burton had decreased by 30 per cent over a period of a couple of years thanks to some of our work.
"We are primarily a preventative measure and we aim to be the peace-makers on the streets.
"A lot of it is about distraction so we diffuse situations by giving them a lollipop, chatting to them if they are angry in a bid to get the issue off their chest, or just trying to make them laugh."
The street angels team is based at the top of Station Street on a Friday night where the volunteers hand out tea, coffee, biscuits and water.
The team never intervenes in physical altercations, which are dealt with by the police.
Chief Inspector Steve Maskrey, East Staffordshire local policing team commander, said that the police have seen a stable number of recorded violent crimes in the last year.
He said: "More serious violent crime resulting in significant injuries such as broken bones has decreased by eight per cent in the last year."
Mr Pusey said he and his fellow street angels do not see fights very often, but that when they do it is normally down to not being allowed into a club or when people leave a bar together and have a disagreement.
He added that the decrease in violence is partly due to the price of alcohol.
He said: "I think the main reason is the cost of going out. People are coming out much later now, between half 11 and 12, which may be down to affordability, so they are drinking at home instead."
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