STREET Pastors will be back on the beat later this month following the easing of restrictions.

While the team are normally out and about at the weekends from 10pm until 4am, new patrols will now include some day-time ones as well as an evening one, finishing after the pubs shut.

Following the relaxations of Covid-19 rules, pastors will be back on the streets later this month.

Co-ordinator Alistair McAlees said:"We are really happy and keen to be back out in Inverclyde and also to be experimenting with day time patrols.

"Those out in the night-time economy will know of us after 10 years patrolling, but day-time will bring us in front of a much wider audience.

"We know from day-time patrols by other Street Pastor initiatives that there are a load of people hurting who have suffered mentally from Covid-19 in many ways.

"With our passion to listen, care and help, we hope that these patrols will be useful to our local community."

The Street Pastors scheme arrived in Inverclyde in October 2010.

With the support of a number of local churches, it operated initially in Greenock town centre, but has since expanded into Gourock and Port Glasgow.

Kitted out in their dark blue uniforms, and always ready to help, the pastors have been well received by those they meet, plus police officers and the local authority.

All Street Pastors are volunteers and they are organised locally by Inverclyde Christian Initiative, who receive no national funding for this purpose.

Alastair added: "We also hope to have our Rail Pastor team up and running very soon.

"They too are keen to be out on the trains again and we know that some people feel much safer when they are out there.

"Both our Street and Rail Pastors love to engage and interact with those they meet."