To Archive List Page

First it was Blunkett's Bobbies,
Now, it's Smith's Stasi!

Labour Home Secretaries seem to be dead keen on bypassing the proper police force and selling all sorts of powers to untrained cowboys in both the public and private sector.

The latest Labour BIG IDEA, from Jacqui Smith, the current Home Sec., is to charge security guards & local council staff, and their employers, fancy fees for Home Office Accredited status as auxiliary law enforcement agents.

What It Costs
Public Sector £300-315 for the organization
£35-90 per employee
Private Sector £450-600 for the company
£32-132 per employee

Members of the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme will get a badge. They might even get a uniform if the local chief constable approves it. Unlike "Blunkett Bobby" Community Support Officers, they have no power of arrest. Instead, they will have a hotline to the police in case things turn ugly for them.

People who can join Smith's Stasi:

  • car park attendants
  • charity workers
  • council officials
  • dog wardens
  • environmental officers
  • fire brigade staff
  • football ground stewards
  • hospital security staff
  • housing officers
  • licensing officers
  • private security guards
  • park wardens
  • store detectives
  • trading standards officers

What they can do:

  • compel under-16s to surrender tobacco
  • compel under-18s to surrender alcohol
  • control traffic
  • demand a victim's name & address
  • issue penalty notices for cycling on the pavement, dog fouling, fly-posting, littering, being in charge of an out-of-control dog and truancy
  • photograph offenders who have been fined
  • remove abandoned vehicles
  • sort out beggars
  • stop vehicles to check the tax disc

What they can also issue penalty notices for disorder for:

  • buying alcohol for someone under 18
  • delivering alcohol to someone under 18
  • selling alcohol to someone under 18
  • causing harassment, alarm or distress
  • deliberately giving a false alarm to the fire brigade or rescue workers
  • possession of Category 4 fireworks
  • possession of restricted fireworks by someone under 18
  • supply of excessively loud fireworks
  • throwing stones at a train
  • trespass on a railway
  • using an electronic communications network to cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety

The Home Office says that the revenue collected via fines issued by members of Smith's Stasi will go to the Treasury, but this doesn't rule out kickbacks of a proportion of the income if an organization meets a government target for replacing proper coppers with a cheaper but inferior substitute.

To Page TopTo Archive List PageBack to Front page