(Click to enlarge)
I’m not holding my breath because almost every day I read/hear something that could qualify as the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back but surely THIS must bring us closer to a tipping point.
Despite the LibDems and Conservatives opposing this Labour (Jacqui Smith) scheme when they were in Opposition, it seems they’ve now had a change of heart and have increased the numbers by more than a third.
Dominic Grieve, 2008: “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 ordinary citizens. This is a consequence of the government’s obsession with policing on the cheap as well as their staggering complacency towards the extension of surveillance.”
More than 2,200 civilians including street wardens, housing officers, countryside rangers, traffic marshals and stewards can now issue fines for dropping litter, dog fouling, truancy and so on. These ‘accredited’ people can also take your photograph and demand your name and address if you “fail to follow appropriate directions”. That’s tightly-worded isn’t it, so there’ll be no misunderstandings there then. I also wonder how many of these accredited persons will be sent on Common Purpose courses to improve their “leading beyond authority” skills.
UPDATE: This is from April 2010 just before the GE – ACPO at it again and there’s a quote from Chris Grayling, then Shadow Home Affairs spokesman, now Employment Minister.
Tory home affairs spokesman Chris Grayling called for an immediate end to the scheme: ‘People expect policing powers to be held by police, and not by other groups like nightclub bouncers,’ he said.