In discussions with Newmarket Safer Neighbourhood Teams at Suffolk Constabulary we understand that as many as 6000 people can be on the streets shortly after the clubs close. They also tell us that Newmarket is the hotspot for alcohol related crime in East Anglia. After two years of patrolling, this has gone down considerably, but there are still issues out there.
Nightclubs are open Thursday through Sunday, during school holidays there are the under 18's discos on Mondays. We also attract visitors from quite a way off, especially on race weekends.
From examples at Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds we estimate that our initial response to the challenge and starting point towards our vision needs a minimum of two teams of two Town Pastors patrolling on just two weekend nights on a four weekly rota i.e. a team of at least 32 Town Pastors to patrol and a similar number of people praying and helping at our base – a number which is not sustainable from town based churches alone. In light of the wide geographic draw of the club scene we hope to involve a similarly broad number of churches in our area, from all Christian denominations and streams. So far we have over 80 people involved from 14 churches, and are patrolling Saturdays, some Fridays, and most under-18 nights, but hope to be able to extend that to all Fridays once the next batch of Pastors have been trained.
Download the presentation from our open meeting.