Street Teams Project
The Street Teams Project is a collaborative initiative between the City of Hobart, The Salvation Army and Tasmania Police to improve late night safety along Hobart’s waterfront and the Salamanca precinct.
The project has been successfully running for four years with teams of trained volunteers and a Salvation Army staff member being present in the area on Friday and Saturday nights between the hours of 10:30 pm and 4 am.
The Street Teams provide support and assistance to vulnerable people who may be at risk of harm, or of causing harm to others.
The volunteers wear highly distinguishable reflective fluorescent vest and walk around the Salamanca and Waterfront entertainment precinct handing out bottled water, lollipops and thongs and providing assistance for patrons to get home safely.
Volunteers are also an extension of the ‘eyes and ears’ of Tasmania Police. They contact Police at any time they are witness to any developing situation, which provides Police the opportunity for resources to be deployed in a more timely and pro-active manner.
An evaluation of the first 18 months of the program identified a 53 per cent reduction in the number of public place assaults reported to Tasmania Police in the Salamanca precinct.
As well as actively engaging people whilst patrolling the waterfront precinct, the Street Teams also operate a coffee cart which, between January and June 2018, served nearly 3000 people high quality organic Tasmanian coffee.
By offering free hot drinks, the coffee cart enables people to interact with the Salvation Army volunteers in an informal way. This can lead to discussions on a range of challenges facing people such as family violence and substance misuse, providing the volunteers an opportunity to provide referrals to support services. Members of the public can also get a hot drink for a gold coin donation.
Photo: The Street Teams celebrated their 4th birthday, December 2018.