Friday, 28 January 2011

Street Angels –Part 2 “Police and Clubs”

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“All about a partnership”

This is part 2 of the series on Camberley Street Angels, as they extend their coverage to include Friday and Saturday evenings. In part 1, we took a look at their kit.

This week, what do the professionals think about their presence on the streets?

The Angels meet up at around 9.30pm, to pack their kit bags, and prepare for the night ahead. Before I joined up with them, I arranged to meet Sergeant  John Castell, from Camberley Police. I asked him what he thought about Street Angels extending coverage to Saturday nights. He said “I'm looking forward to it.. It's a noticeable difference on a Friday night, and I'm sure we can roll that into a Saturday to try and reduce the crime and disorder even more than we have already..". Sgt Castell said the work of Street Angels over the last year had made "quite a significant StreetAngels2011_0107(004)difference actually. It's quite noticeable how different people are when they come into contact with the Angels. They're quite a calming presence, helping people who are a little bit worse for wear for drink, making sure the young ladies ... get into taxis, or anybody who is waiting ... on their own, they [Street Angels] keep a watchful eye on it. We've got quite limited resource. We put as many into town as we can to resource Friday and Saturday evenings, so any extra helping hands are more than welcome."

So the community police find the Angels a valuable asset to the town, but this got me wondering, what  about  the pub and club staff? Did they care about, what could be termed as “do gooders” out on the streets. Perhaps the Angels get in their way, and impact trade? So I headed off to chat with Mark Cameron, manager of Tru nightclub in Camberley. Tru is the largest club, and closes the latest (at 3am), so seemed like the best place to start. Mark has been manager there for about 7 months, so I guess he should StreetAngels2011_0107(023)have some interesting feedback to make. He said "... having the Street Angels is just like a buffer zone. It seems to calm people down when they come out of the club, if there's any issues in the street. It works really well... It's a great benefit to the community."  Mark said Saturday coverage "...will help a lot because Saturday is our busiest night..sort of double the numbers out on Saturday, so the more help we can get to control everyone, keep them calm, and stop everyone getting involved in any incidents, the better. Street Angels will add to that...".

Next week, in the final part of this series on “Street Angels”, we take a look at the “Street Angels Effect”…