A Hastings church reverend has claimed that praying in the street lowers crime rates in the local area. Reverend Chris Sears, MBE, is a representative of the ‘Adopt-A-Street’ scheme, which encourages local residents to select a street in their local area and pray there.
Rev Sears, said of the scheme: “We get reports about different things that are happening and changing. I think it is quite successful.
“For example, in Cornwallis Gardens, the big drinking problem and the drugs transactions taking place on the green, seem to have gone away.”
However, Sussex Police highlighted the recent actions that have taken place in the area: “We have carried out several initiatives in the area to tackle anti-social behaviour including using new powers to close a property in Cornwallis Terrace, which was being used for drug dealing and taking”.
The church scheme claims to have “an impact on bringing down crime rate, drug use, aggression, family breakdown and general suffering of people on that street.”
“It’s been a big thing in American cities,” Rev Sears, continued. “In some cities the murder rate has gone right down. There were a lot of problems in New York and New Jersey. ‘Adopt- A-Street’ took place there and there was quite an improvement in the area.”
Local Hastings, resident Lisa Marie-Lynch, 23, is agnostic and was surprised by Sears claims: “It is difficult to believe that with all the horrible things; world disasters, gang crimes, starvation, that God would take notice in lowering crime rates of individual streets.” Christchurch, Blacklands & St. AndrewChurch in St Helens,recently joined the scheme. St Helens councillor, Martin Clarke, said: “I’d say that praying for the area is a great thing. If we can encourage people to do it. “How well that would translate for others to do the same, I’m not sure.”
By Adam Powers and Sammy Brough