Pastors want to make teenagers aware of dangers of Hereford's night life

Hereford Times: A warning has been issued. A warning has been issued.

HEAD teachers around the county have been urged to make young pupils aware of the dangers of Hereford’s night life.

Hereford’s Street Pastor team is urging schools to encourage youngsters to avoid putting themselves at risk – after seeing a trend of under-18s in the city on weekends.

In May street pastors came into contact with 32 people aged between 15 and 18 and one under 15.

In June the figure was 31 under-18s and nine under the age of 15.

Street pastor project leader, Robert Thomas, said: “Street Pastors want young people to have a good time and come home safe – so we are not seeking to be kill joys.

“We are concerned to prevent young people – through sincere naivety or premeditated plans – putting themselves in a place of vulnerability.”

According to Mr Thomas, young people enter the city on Friday and Saturdays from 10.30pm and while under 18s are refused entry to clubs and pubs, some often try to gain entry by concealing themselves in a group or by carrying false ID.

“The door staff in Hereford are very meticulous and caring – they check individual IDs. If false ID is found, the young person is detained for the police to attend and the ID is confiscated,”

he said.

“Whenever possible, door staff go out of their way to keep these under 18s safe – often involving our patrols, to make sure the individual gets home safe.

“Some may try to obtain entry elsewhere, although their identity has been radioed to all other door staff.

“They find themselves alone on the streets – maybe waiting hours for their friends, often without money for a taxi home and too embarrassed to phone mum or dad to get help.”

Sergeant Duncan Reynolds, of Hereford (SNT) Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We work very closely with Street Pastors and are fully supportive of the service they provide to our community.

“Young people can be particularly vulnerable when they go out. Our advice is very much geared towards making sure they stay safe and do not break the law.”

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