Street wardens and pastors under closure threat

Lincoln could end up losing its night time Evening Economy Wardens and Street Pastors due to a loss in funding.

If the Lincolnshire Community Safety Board decide not to continue supporting the two groups, they could disappear as soon as March.

The funding for the teams originally came from the Lincolnshire Community Safety Partnership, but budget cuts have led to tough decisions in funding.

Evening Economy Wardens and volunteer Street Pastors combined help cut down on drink-related crimes and also keeping vulnerable people safe by making sure they get home safely after a night out.

The wardens work alongside the police, door staff and CCTV operators and have helped lower the alcohol-induced crime levels, while the street pastors hand out blankets, flip-flops and water and call taxis to those needing it most.

Lincoln Big chief executive Matt Corrigan said: “Getting the management of the evening economy right is really important for the city.

“It’s not just about 8,000 people having a good time and getting home safely. It’s about the reputation of the city as a lively, but safe place.

“This is a great partnership that works: almost half of all crime in the city centre takes place at night and the deterrent effect and early intervention by the wardens has proved vital in reducing the number of crimes and incidents that take place.

“It is short-sighted to cut this when the consequence is potentially greater pressure on police time, more fights, more arrests and more injuries to be dealt with at A&E, all of which incur significant costs.”

— Later update: Joy Liddle, Lincoln Street Pastors Coordinator, explained: “The police, evening safety wardens and the Street Pastors all play an integral part in the well-being of the city’s evening economy.

“Our roles are different but very supportive. However, as we are volunteers, the Evening Safety Wardens are paid, it is their livelihood.

“We felt it necessary to support them, to ensure that Lincoln remains a fun place to be on a Friday and Saturday night.

“It is going to be financially tough for us, but survive we will — we now seek a positive outcome to this problem for Lincoln.”