Police praise Hartlepool’s ‘street angels’

HELPING HAND: Street Pastors in Hartlepool have been praised in parliament for their work in helping revellers have a safe night
HELPING HAND: Street Pastors in Hartlepool have been praised in parliament for their work in helping revellers have a safe night

A POLICE chief has praised teams of “street angels” after they earned Government recognition.

Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has spent time out on the streets with teams of Street Pastors across the Tees Valley, including the team which looks after revellers in Hartlepool.

Now, after working alongside Middlesbrough MP Andy McDonald, Mr Coppinger was delighted to see an Early Day Motion tabled in the House of Commons in recognition of the tireless work of the Hartlepool Town Pastors, Boro Angels, Guisborough Nightlights,Redcar Beacons, Stockton Town Pastors and other street angel programmes.

Early Day Motions help to draw attention to events, campaigns, or good work and demonstrate the backing for a cause by collecting supportive signatures from MPs and they can be debated in Parliament.

In support of the street angel programmes, the motion highlights that 6,500 hours of voluntary work was carried out in the last year, first aid was given to more than 160 people, and volunteers recovered more than 4,500 bottles and glasses from the streets and helped 76 vulnerable people into taxis.

Hartlepool’s revellers may know of the street angels as ‘the people who hand out the flip-flops and lollipops’ – but their work is much more than that.

They provide a voluntary service on the streets, helping those in need, offering support and advice, and being a helpful addition to the emergency services.

Mr Coppinger said: “I have been out on the streets with volunteers over recent months and have seen first-hand their passion for helping people and keeping Cleveland safe.

“These volunteers are giving their own free time on cold and dark nights and although they are volunteering throughout the year, Christmas is a poignant time to celebrate their work.

“Street angels show the true spirit of community and it’s absolutely right that their work is commended in this way.

“I’m sure the areas other MPs will follow suit in supporting this motion.”

Steve Brock, who coordinates the teams across the Tees Valley, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that this EDM has been tabled.

“Our volunteers have a huge heart for the towns in which they work and provide a caring and compassionate presence at a time when individuals can find themselves vulnerable and in need of help.

“We are able spend time with people and provide a listening ear for those who just want to talk, and provide practical assistance whenever we can.”