THE West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner has praised Bromsgrove Street Pastors for their five years of work to reduce anti-social behaviour.

Since the group was introduced in 2012, Bromsgrove has experienced a 35 per cent drop in anti-social behaviour on Friday nights.

The volunteers sacrifice their weekends to provide support to residents in difficulty and victims of crime.

PCC John Campion, who spent a Friday evening with the pastors, said: "It is commendable that these volunteers give their own time, to help others in our communities. Having spent time with them, I have been able to see the valuable service that they provide, making sure that people are kept safe, and providing a reassuring presence in town centres.

"Through their caring approach, they are able to change people’s behaviours and reduce anti-social incidents, meaning that police resources can be better directed to focus on helping the most vulnerable. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers on behalf of the people of Bromsgrove.”

Street Pastors chairman Rev Paul Lewis added: "Bromsgrove Street Pastors wouldn’t be the success that it is without the support of others around us, especially West Mercia Police, Bromsgrove District Council and our local pubs and nightclub.

"We help, care and listen in ways that others are not able to, and so contribute towards making Bromsgrove a safer and better place to enjoy a night out. Our local community has taken us to their heart, and we are sought after on a Friday night and Saturday morning.

"Thank you to everyone who has encouraged and supported over the last five years. We are looking forward to many more to come.”