State recruits an army of private snoopers with police-style powers

May 26th, 2009 in Breaking News, Police State
State recruits an army of private snoopers with police-style powers | Mail Online.


A growing army of private security guards and town hall snoopers with sweeping police-style powers is being quietly established, the Daily Mail can reveal.

Under a Home Office-run scheme, people such as park wardens, dog wardens, car park attendants and shopping centre guards receive the powers if they undergo training, and pay a small fee to their local police force.

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.

Critics claim Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is quietly seeking to create a third-tier within the ‘policing family’, with even less training and accountability than the controversial Police Community Support Officers.

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.