Thousands of civilians have been given sweeping police-style powers allowing them to fine people and demand personal details.
Following a worrying expansion of a discredited Labour project, more than 2,200 civilians including street wardens, housing officers, traffic marshals and stewards can issue financial penalties for ‘offences’ such as dropping litter, dog fouling and truancy.
Coalition ministers have allowed the numbers signed up to the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme to grow by a third over just 12 months.
It comes despite senior Liberal Democrats and Tories strongly condemning the scheme when in opposition.
Under it, councils and private sector firms pay a few hundred pounds for accreditation by the local police force.
They then pay as little as £32 for each employee they want to be accredited. Those chosen undergo a short training course and are given a uniform and a special badge approved by the Chief Constable.
As well as handing out fines of up to £80, the accredited civilians – dubbed ‘Jacqui Smith’s Irregulars’ after the former Labour home secretary – can photograph members of the public and demand their names and addresses.
So, the suggestion that the Police are being shredded to make way for private Police is NOT so far fetched eh?
These people are not traffic wardens… they can issue fixed penalties of £80 for anti-social behaviour-type offences…
I wonder how long it will be before they start arresting people?