THEY are dubbed the city’s “Guardian Angels” who keep an eye on revellers at night to make sure they come to no harm.

From clearing up glass on the streets, helping people clean up their vomit, keeping a watch on suspicious people loitering in secluded spots and calming aggressive situations, they are every night time reveller’s best friend.

They have even handed out 937 pairs of flip flops to protect the feet of girls who can’t hack their heels at the end of the night.

Now Southampton Street Pastors are celebrating with news that violent crime in the city has dramatically reduced in their first year on the streets.

Organisers of the church-led project, that aims to tackle antisocial behaviour when thousands of fun-seekers flock to the city’s pubs, clubs and bars, said there was a 31 per cent drop in crime at night thanks to the pastors and the council’s Safe City Partnership.

Now they have commissioned 20 extra volunteers due to the success to add to the 43-strong team.

Coordinator Richard Pitt, said: “I am amazed at the figures. You know you are helping people but when you see them and realise it makes you feel quite overwhelmed.

“A lot of people do say to us we do a wonderful job and that we give up our time but for us it is enjoyable to be making a difference.

Now people come and look for us if there is a problem. They know we are a friendly face who they can trust.”

The street pastors are trained in social awareness, drugs and mentoring by police, probation services and counsellors.

They have clocked up more than 520 miles on patrol in the city centre and volunteers have given a total of 3,132 hours of their time.

It is thought that groups of the volunteers patrolling secluded spots have led to a drop in sexual assaults within city centre parks compared to previous years.

They even cleared more than 3,500 bottles and glasses off the streets and statistics have proved this has resulted in fewer incidents of criminals using glass as a weapon.

Inspector Phil Bates, of Southampton Central Police Station, said: “The street pastors have been a valuable asset. They help make people feel safer and they’ve made a significant contribution to the overall reduction in violent crime.”

Each volunteer is out with the team once every month. They patrol the streets from 10pm until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.

The project launched in May 2009 and the chairman of trustees Jane Fisher said it is now classed as a charitable company.

Street Pastors Factfile

In their first year the Southampton Street Pastors have:
■ Calmed 120 situations that were getting aggressive
■ Cared for a total of 299 people who were drunk
■ Helped 178 people clean themselves up after vomiting
■ Helped 147 drunk people contact a friend or family member to take them home
■ Administered first aid to 77 people
■ Given out 149 emergency blankets
■ Cleared 3,540 bottles and glasses
■ Swept up broken glass 358 times
■ Given out 937 pairs of flip flops