Army of civilian patrols to walk streets of Britain

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PostThu Jul 29, 2010 11:47 pm » by Anuki


Army of civilian patrols to walk streets of Britain
July 27, 2010 · 1 Comment

50,000 extra special constables to flood crime-plagued neighbourhoods with an army of volunteers.

It has not been decided whether the civilian patrollers will wear special clothing or to what level they will be vetted – leading to fears that vigilantes or busybodies will try to become involved.

Daily Mail | Jul 27, 2010

PC Joe Public: Now YOU can go on the beat: Unprecedented police shake-up will see unpaid civilians patrol with bobbies

By James Slack

In the biggest shake-up of policing for 50 years, ministers want the public to patrol alongside beat bobbies.

They also intend to recruit up to 50,000 extra special constables to flood crime-plagued neighbourhoods with an army of volunteers.

And villages will be protected by a new breed of ‘police reservists’, modeled on part-time firemen and the Territorial Army.

The coalition government yesterday set out plans for communities to ‘reconnect’ with police forces which have disappeared behind their desks, engulfed by a flood of red tape.

But the radical reforms are already being dismissed by Labour as ‘policing on the cheap’ and a fig leaf for cuts in fully sworn officers.

Home Secretary Theresa May said her plans were ‘the most radical reforms to policing in at least 50 years’. She also announced:

* The introduction of directly-elected police commissioners with the power to sack chief constables, along with the prospect of elected U.S.-style prosecutors
* The creation of a National Crime Agency to ‘tackle organised crime and protect our borders’
* Regular beat meetings in supermarkets and old people’s homes to hold officers to account
* ‘Virtual’ get-togethers on social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter
* A bonfire of health and safety regulations that tie police in red tape

Mrs May said her reforms, part of David Cameron’s Big Society project, would ‘transfer power back to the people’ and make police into ‘crime fighters not form writers’.

Labour responded that the Government was seeking to replace police and community support officers with unpaid volunteers.

Ex-Home Secretary Alan Johnson said: ‘People volunteer to run the Scouts, not catch criminals. This is simply a cover for massive cuts to the number of police on the beat.’

But ministers said it was about giving local people the opportunities they need to join the fight against the loutish behaviour which took root under the last government.

The document says: ‘Across the country, we want to support more active citizens: taking part in joint patrols with the police, looking out for their neighbours and passing on safety tips as part of Neighbourhood Watch groups or as Community Crime Fighters.’

Policing Minister Nick Herbert gave the example of street pastors who go out alongside police officers to help deal with the tidal wave of drunkenness in town centres.

It has not been decided whether the civilian patrollers will wear special clothing or to what level they will be vetted – leading to fears that vigilantes or busybodies will try to become involved.

However they are likely to hold only the standard power of citizen’s arrest.

The planned expansion in the number of special constables – who have full police powers, but are not paid – would deliver the most dramatic change to the police service in decades.

The document says: ‘By volunteering their free time, special constables and other police volunteers provide a tangible way for citizens to make a difference in their communities. They have a long history within the police.

‘The number peaked at over 67,000 in the 1950s, but fell to around 24,000 in 1974 and 11,000 in 2004, although it has climbed to 15,000 today.

We want to see more special constables and explore new ideas to help unlock the potential of police volunteers in the workforce, for example as police “reservists”.

These would be modelled on part-time fire crews in rural communities who are on standby ready to respond to emergencies. They are paid, but less than full-time firemen.

The plans come with the Home Office is trying to identify budget cuts of between 25 and 40 per cent.

Experts have predicted 60,000 police staff, including officers, could be axed. Labour suspects that ministers will seek to replace them with unpaid volunteers.

But Mrs May said: ‘For this government, police reform is a priority, not just because we inherited the worst public finances of any major economy, but because for too long the police have become disconnected from the communities they serve, they have been bogged down by bureaucracy and they have answered to distant politicians instead of to the people.’

She added that ‘terrorism, serious and organised crime and cyber-crime require new approaches which cross not just police force boundaries but international borders as well’.

Labour’s Serious Organised Crime Agency will be scrapped in favour of a new National Crime Agency, which will include organised crime, border policing, and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre.

Soca was criticised last year when figures showed that for every £15 of public money it spent, just £1 was recovered from criminals.

The National Policing Improvement Agency – a quango criticised for lavishing tens of millions of pounds on consultants – will be phased out.

The Association of Chief Police Officers will be told it must become more accountable to the public.

Elected police commissioners with the power to hire and fire chief constables will be in place within two years, Home Secretary Theresa May announced yesterday.

The idea had faced a blizzard of protest from some chief constables and police authorities who claim the move could lead to the politicisation of the police service.

But the Home Secretary said it was vital to ‘re-establish the links between the police and the public’.

She said only seven per cent of the public know that they can go to a police authority – a panel of local councillors and other public figures – if they have a problem with their local force. The first elections will take place in May 2012.

Commissioners will serve fixed four-year terms, with a maximum of two terms. Their pay has yet to be set.

They will be monitored by a new Police and Crime Panel, made up of councillors and other lay members.

Mrs May was yesterday forced to deny that these are simply police authorities by another name.

The most extreme power the commissioners will have is to fire a chief constable – prompting concerns that they could sack a perfectly good senior officer who they do not personally like.

They will also be able to compel local police teams to hold regular beat meetings. The Home Office said these could take place in supermarkets, old people’s homes and schools.

But the commissioners could be sacked only if the Independent Police Complaints Commission rules that ‘serious misconduct’ has taken place.

Shadow Home Secretary Alan Johnson said the cost of elected commissioners had been estimated at £50million.

He labelled the proposal an ‘unnecessary, unwanted and expensive diversion’.

Lib Dem MP Tom Brake said: ‘These proposals should not be seen as a green light for the election of characters more interested in populism than effective co-operative policing’.

And Richard Kemp, vice-chairman of the Local Government Association, said: ‘In difficult financial circumstances, we have to ask if this is the right time to change structures through additional elections, which could cost the same as 700 police officers.’

Commissioners will be elected under an as-yet-undecided form of proportional representation.

One option is to adopt an Alternative Vote system, where the bottom-placed candidate is excluded and their votes reallocated until one candidate achieves 50 per cent support.

Ministers believe this will reduce the chances of an extremist fringe party such as the BNP seizing control of a police force.

In a surprise move, Mrs May yesterday also raised the prospect of having directly-elected prosecutors.

It followed an outpouring of anger from MPs over the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision not to prosecute the police officer captured on film striking Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests.

Mr Tomlinson collapsed and died shortly afterwards but, last week, the Director of Public Prosecutions said there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.

Whitehall sources said the door was being left open to making prosecutors more accountable to the public. In the U.S. have elected District Attorneys.

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PostThu Jul 29, 2010 11:48 pm » by Troll2rocks


Wooooo time to grab my beating stick, see you there anuki :flop:


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Lol.

Just kidding. We could do with a few more honest and decent police and less children thown into the mix to make up the numbers, also a special screening process to allow the decent police to make it and worm out the ones who harbor left wing views and use that against the innocent. :flop:
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PostFri Jul 30, 2010 12:17 am » by Anuki


troll2rocks wrote:Just kidding. We could do with a few more honest and decent police and less children thown into the mix to make up the numbers, also a special screening process to allow the decent police to make it and worm out the ones who harbor left wing views and use that against the innocent. :flop:


Army of civilian patrols to walk streets of Britain


it aint a solution i think.....;

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PostFri Jul 30, 2010 3:07 am » by Boondox681


return of the gestapo
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PostFri Jul 30, 2010 3:14 am » by Slowlyawakening


You don't need civilian patrols, just a right to self defense. And having less strict gun laws help too. Keep it simple. If everyone was the police for their own home, they wouldn't need volunteers.

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PostFri Jul 30, 2010 4:03 am » by Anuki


boondox681 wrote:return of the gestapo


Amen! :flop:

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PostFri Jul 30, 2010 9:49 am » by Eliakim


They're bringing in EU police, that the tax payer pays for, cutting the British police force and expect the people to work for nothing. Wake up Brits

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PostFri Jul 30, 2010 10:10 am » by Anuki


eliakim wrote:They're bringing in EU police, that the tax payer pays for, cutting the British police force and expect the people to work for nothing. Wake up Brits


indeed (tax) money...
Cause the Jews stole the rest.



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