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Cheers - AE

Friday, 29 August 2008

Wannabe coppers? Where are all the real ones?

Various council employees and security guards are getting limited police powers, as reported in the Grauniad here, here and here (virtually the same article written three times), BBC here and Telegraph here. It's actually more true to say that even more non-police are getting police powers since privately owned parking firms have been handing out fines for quite a while now, and it's been a few years since the first PCSOs walked British streets.

Now aside from the fact that I personally would be none too chuffed at being ordered to pay a fine by one of these, er... not quite police officers and "accredited persons", I have to wonder what they're needed for. Doesn't IngSoc NuLabGov keep telling us that crime is going down and that there are more police officers than ever before? So why the need for all these people who are not police, are not trained as police, are less accountable than the police and, with the exception of PCSOs, far less identifiable than real police to have even limited police powers? And where the fuck are all the real police and what the fuck are they doing?

I think the Tory shadow Home Secretary is missing a trick here. Yes, he's right to bring up the unjustified extension of powers and NuLab's love of doing things like policing on the cheap. But he's barely touched on the big one for me:
"The public want to see real police on the streets discharging these responsibilities, not private firms who may use them inappropriately - including unnecessarily snooping on the lives of ordinary citizens."

I don't disagree, but the question needs to be screamed at everyone in the Home Office from Jacqui Smith on down: why is this necessary when you tell us crime is falling, and where the fuck are all the real police? It doesn't add up.

NuLabGov's response?
A Home Office spokesperson said: "Community Safety Accreditation Schemes enable Chief Constables to designate limited powers to employees of organisations who contribute towards community safety.
"CSAS supports Neighbourhood Policing by building links, improving communications and helping in the delivery of effective policing to neighbourhoods. Accredited Persons have a key role to play in the delivery of Neighbourhood Policing and are an important part of the extended police family."

Oh look, another fucking anonymous spokesman. Where are all the real police and where's Jacqui bloody Smith? Other than that a fairly typical meaningless answer. What the fuck does it mean, "building links, improving communications and helping in the delivery of effecti..." zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Honestly, it's the sort of bullshit people put on a CV for a job they did years ago and they think isn't going to be checked. But also the sort of bullshit everyone is used to from NuLabGov after eleven years.
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