A TEAM of “Street Angels’” is helping to maintain a safer night-time environment in Malton.
Set up last year, the scheme involves a team of volunteers who help and support people enjoying a night out in the town.
Initiated by PC Jane Jones, of Malton police, the aim is to support people who may be struggling to get home safely and help defuse situations before they get out of hand.
PC Jones said one aspect of the Street Angel role was befriending in the hope of possibly influencing future behaviour choices. She said: “We are, in general, welcomed by the people we meet while out patrolling, and some now come and ask for our assistance. Over the last six patrols the Street Angels had given out 11 bottles of water to those who are vomiting or clearly very drunk, and 29 pairs of flip-flops to assist women who are walking with difficulty in high-heeled shoes or are already barefoot.”
PC Jones said the patrol routinely picked up abandoned or empty bottles and cans of alcohol, pouring away the contents and placing them in council refuse bins.
She said: “Empty glasses are returned to the nearest pub to prevent accidents from broken glass, and to remove potential weapons from those who may become aggressive.”
Initiated in Halifax, Street Angels have patrolled other towns and cities for some time, including Scarborough and York.
PC Jones said during recent patrols in Malton they had helped 14 individuals.
She said: “If we notice people in personal difficulties, needing help to find friends, to get home or needing medical assistance, for example, we offer what help we can personally and inform the CCTV operator and/or the ambulance service as appropriate.
“If we see violent incidents building up or occurring we inform the police via the CCTV operator, and seek to be a useful witness for the police in recording and passing on facts and identification.”
PC Jones said the Street Angels would also like to thank members of the public for their donations to the charity boxes which are located around the pubs in Malton and Norton, which has so far raised £60.
She said: “As Street Angels we seek to work in partnership with pub doormen and any other staff in trying to maintain a safe environment in the night-time economy.
“A local glazier has reported a major reduction in broken windows in Malton and commented that there were usually two or three most weeks and there have been hardly any since November when Street Angels began.”
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