A FORCE from above has been called in to help clear up disorder on Hounslow's streets.
A band of Christian volunteers will give up their Friday nights in a bid to make Hounslow town centre safer, beginning on New Year's Eve this year.
Hounslow Street Pastors, as they have been dubbed, aim to make the High Street a 'safe and caring environment' for everyone who uses it at the weekend.They promise to offer advice and support to everyone from drinkers looking for a cab home to people feeling intimidated by those around them.
The scheme will be officially launched during a service for volunteers at the Civic Centre, in Lampton Road, Hounslow, on July 2 at 7.30pm.Volunteers who sign up to the project, which has already been introduced in 26 out of 32 London boroughs, will receive 12 days of training before starting their work.
Aged from 18 to 75 and working on a monthly rota, they will patrol the streets in groups of four.Their role will not be to police disturbances but merely to lend a helpful ear to anyone looking for advice and support.
A similar scheme in Kingston has helped hundreds of drunk revellers get home safely, with 'pastors' handing out flip flops to girls whose heels have broken and clearing broken glass from the streets, since being set up three years ago.Street Pastors were originally introduced Kingston, Jamaica, in 2001, and came to Lambeth in 2003.
They are now active in more than 100 towns and cities across the UK, where they have been widely acknowledged as helping to cut crime.In Hounslow, the project has been set up with the support of police and the council.Sally Foster, who helped set up the scheme, said volunteers were keen to make a 'positive difference' to the borough.
"Their role is to meet, talk and engage with the people through listening, supporting and helping in practical ways," she added."This could be walking a girl on her own to a late-night taxi, reassuring someone who feels intimidated or listening to the people who need to know somebody cares."
For more information about street pastors, or to volunteer, email email@example.com