Deputy Lord Lieutenant spends evening with volunteers who run Northampton’s SNOvan

“I am of the firm opinion that without the resources on the SNOvan the only possible outcomes for some of the people we saw would have involved police time or A&E”

By Carly Odell
Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 12:05 pm

A Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, Dominic Goble, spent an evening with volunteers who run Northampton’s Safer Nights Out (SNO) van earlier this month.

Dominic, who was representing HM Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, spent three hours with the volunteers as they offered practical assistance to vulnerable people on a night out in the town centre on Friday, February 11.

Whilst out on patrol, Dominic saw the Guardians provide support to a lone and vulnerable woman, preventing her from stumbling into the busy road, and with the help of nearby door supervisors, arranged for her to be safely taken home.

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Dominic Goble with SNOvan volunteers.

They also reunited a confused young man with his friends, after they had been separated during the night.

Amy Collins, volunteer with Northampton Guardians added: “On February 11, we had the privilege of meeting Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Dominic Goble.

“We started the evening welcoming him to the SNOvan and then introduced him to all the Northampton Guardians on duty.

“After a quick tour of the SNOvan, Dominic began his shift by heading down to one of our popular routes where he started to support members of the public alongside two of the Guardians.

“We were able to show him the positive impact we are having in town on a Friday and Saturday night. We are grateful for him spending a few hours with us.

“This was an experience we will remember and will always welcome him back again.”

The SNOvan is available to anyone in Northampton town centre should they feel vulnerable or need assistance whilst on a night out.

Staffed by volunteers from Northampton Guardians and Street Pastors, the SNOvan provides water and warmth, a phone charger, basic first aid and emotional or practical support.

Dominic added: “The interventions I witnessed focused on the individual’s needs and I am of the firm opinion that without the Guardians and the resources on the SNOvan the only possible outcomes for some of the people we saw would have involved police time or A&E.

“I offer my sincerest thanks to all involved in delivering this initiative.”

The SNOvan, which was launched by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner in December 2021, is in the centre of Northampton every Friday and Saturday night between 10pm and 5am.

An £800,000 grant from the Home Office has enabled the Commissioner and West Northamptonshire Council to deliver the SNOvan and, alongside partners such as the Community Safety Partnership and Northamptonshire Police, develop a wider programme of work to reduce violence against women and girls.

Further initiatives including additional CCTV, improved walking routes in Northampton and an awareness campaign highlighting unacceptable behaviour towards women, will be rolled out over the coming months.