It's official, we are now living in a Hitlerian, (not to say Orwellian,) nightmare! Not content having local councils recruit school children to inform on their parents, (Hitlerain) or have CCTV cameras watch our every move, (Orwellian,) Jackboot Jacqui Smith is now turning park wardens, dog wardens, car park attendants and shopping centre guards into snoopers with wide ranging powers! One of our (F2C's) eagle eyed net trawlers, Jenny Hunter, who is a regular at Freedom2Choose's North of England meetings,* found laws were being sneaked in by Herr (sic) Jacqui
Their powers include issuing £60 fines for truancy and dropping litter, and being able to demand a person's name and address on the street.
Under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme, the number of civilians wearing a special badge, and a uniform approved by the local chief constable, has rocketed by almost 30 per cent in a year and there are now 1,406.
The civilians are known as Accredited Persons, but they have been nicknamed 'Jacqui Smith's Irregulars'. The only significant difference between them and PCSOs is that they do not have the power to detain a suspect. Instead, they have to summon police.
Councils and other public sector organisations must pay between £300 and £315 to be accredited to the scheme, and between £35 to £90 per employee.
Of course the Police Service just love Jacqui (Jackboot) Smith:
Police forces are struggling to find funds to maintain the current level of around 142,000 fully-trained officers, and efforts to recruit more PCSOs - nicknamed 'Blunkett's Bobbies' - have also stalled due to a lack of funds.
In 2005 and 2006, the number of civilians given powers under the scheme was static at 945. But they increased to 1,102 in 2007, before last year's big rise.
So much so that:
Simon Reed, vice chairman of the rank-and-file Police Federation, said the scheme was a 'con' on the public by giving the impression of more law enforcers on the street.
'The public are being hoodwinked if they think the streets are any safer, and they would be shocked if they knew what powers Accredited Persons are being given,' he said.
'It is policing on the cheap. These people are given cursory background checks and minimal training. We are concerned about some of the people who are slipping through the net.'
So, good people of Stalag UK, you see a man, woman or child in a nice, crisp new shiny uniform and wonder "where have I seen that face before?" It might just be your neighbour or their offspring!
*The Excutive of F2C have decided that there will be no reference on F2C's website about where, and when, local meetings take place. F2C North of England hold regular monthly meetings where many guest speakers have have attended. The North Of England meetings will continue as long as this draconian smoking ban is foisted on 12 million voters. Anyone intersted in our meetings, no matter your political persuation, contact me for details.