Angels go on patrol to assist revellers

Street angels are taking to the streets of Headingley to watch over revellers enjoying a night out.

The volunteers are set to patrol the streets at weekends to offer help to people using the area's bars, pubs and clubs, which are particularly popular with students.

Supported by officers from the North West Inner Neighbourhood Policing Team, the Angels will be on the lookout for those in distress through drink and others in need of their help, including ensuring people get home and looking after those who have become separated from friends.

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Their work is aimed at helping to reduce incidents of anti-social behaviour and stop people becoming potential victims of crime, while freeing up police resources to deal with more serious incidents. With training in basic first aid, drugs awareness, conflict management and health and safety it is hoped they can offer practical assistance to those in need and calm situations before they escalate.

The project has got off to a flying start thanks to a grant of 1,495 from the West Yorkshire Police Community Trust which awarded grants to groups across the county this month.

The Angels will be given distinctive high-visibility jackets and be equipped with radios linking them to the NiteNet system used by local door staff, licensees and the police.

Their base at the annexe at South Parade Baptist Church, in Kirkstall Lane, will also be used as a safe haven where people can go while their friends are found or a taxi called.

The scheme is organised by the local Churches Together group covering Headingley and surrounding areas and follows successful Street Angels projects in Halifax and Bradford and other parts of the UK.

Chief Supt Ian Whitehouse, Divisional Commander for North West Leeds Division, said: "It is an excellent scheme which has our full support."