Wisbech volunteers line up for citzen patrols

County Councillor Steve Tierney. ENGANL00120120626095257
County Councillor Steve Tierney. ENGANL00120120626095257
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A Street Watch scheme could soon be starting up in Wisbech after volunteers have stepped forward to help.

Wisbech town councillor Steve Tierney is looking to start up Citizen Patrols over Friday and Saturday nights.

The scheme, similar to the street pastor initiatives run elsewhere in the country, will see volunteers walking around the town in groups offering support to drunk people, along with providing a visible presence.

So far around 45 people have committed to being part of the scheme.

Cllr Tierney, who is hoping to run patrols in the day as well, said: “This is a community group which aims to make people feel safer not vigilantism.

“The aim is to be non-confrontational. If people are drunk we could offer them a bottle of water or offer to call a cab.

“We will always be in reasonably-sized groups and it is about being friendly and nice to people.

“In other places where Street Watch schemes have been running they have seen a decrease in the fear of crime and in crime itself.”

Cllr Tierney, who raised the matter at the last Wisbech Town Council meeting, will be working with police and the town council.

Fenland operations manager Insp Will Davis told Monday’s meeting that there would need to be clear criteria that volunteers are working with police.

He also went along to reassure residents and added that a specialist team was investigating the recent rape.

Insp Davis said: “I want to reassure the community. This has happened and we are putting 110 per cent of work in to support the victim.

“Wisbech is still a safe place.”