Bexhill’s Neighbourhood Policing Team has donated £6,000 to the Bexhill Street Pastors to fund new volunteer training, uniforms and vehicle running costs.
Founded in 2012, the street pastor volunteers have made a positive impact on the Bexhill community and have formed a great partnership with the local police by keeping people in the community safe and offering care, support and advice to those in need. They also take their vehicle out every Friday and Saturday night patrolling the streets until 2am.
The money came from funding obtained under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA). Money confiscated from criminals by the courts under POCA goes first to the central government exchequer, but 50 per cent of it then comes back to law enforcement.
Part of the amount returned to Sussex Police is used to help support the work of the force’s financial investigators, and also as donations to local Sussex-based crime reduction and diversion projects for positive community based activities, especially ones that help to keep vulnerable people safe.
PCSO Rachael Scott said: “I am so pleased that we have been able to support the Bexhill Street Pastors in this way, it’s very satisfying to know that money gained from criminal activity is put to use in such a positive way, helping those most vulnerable in our town.
“The Chief Inspector, Ali Eaton, from this unit was only too happy for us to put a bid in with her team of investigators, encouraged by the work that street pastors are doing by preventing crime at the same time as supporting vulnerable people out on the streets.”
Bexhill Street Pastor Co-ordinator, Karen Coughlan said: “The police have helped us considerably since we started here in Bexhill, both financially and by giving us full support out in the community. This money will go a long way towards the budgeted £20,000 that we need for the coming year to run Bexhill Street Pastors.
“Over the past two years we have had a wonderful relationship with Bexhill police, both respecting each others different roles in our town, and this has enhanced the service that we both provide to the residents of Bexhill. It has been a privilege to getting to know the policing team that work out on our streets.”
If you are interested in joining street pastors or would like to know more about the job they do please contact Karen on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.streetpastors.org.uk