Monday, 7 March 2011

The worrying signs from privatising the police force

I have just found this article on the BBC's new pages and rings alarm bells to me about which way this tory lead government wants to take the state and its police force.

An Essex-based private security firm is aiming to be among the first in the UK to operate residential patrols with powers to deal with low-level crime.

BBC Inside Out East has discovered that Garde UK wants to start a 24-hour a day service covering Brentwood, with residents each paying £1 a week.

The company has been accredited by Essex Police, which means it could be granted powers to tackle anti-social behaviour, issue fixed penalty notices and confiscate alcohol.

Under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS), people can apply for accreditation to exercise limited legal powers.

Nearly 400 people from 25 organisations, including park wardens and bus inspectors, have been vetted and trained by Essex Police, but the force is yet to grant any powers to Garde UK.

'Strain on resources'

Tom Peppiatt, from Garde UK, said the firm wanted to work alongside the police to deter crime and improve community spirit.

He said: "We are not a private policing company - we are a private security company that is providing additional information and intelligence back to the police to help the system in their day-to-day routine."

The plan has been criticised by the Essex Police Federation.

Chairman Tony Rayner said: "We think policing powers should stay firmly with the police.

"If people can afford to pay £5 a week £250 a year whatever it is, then why can't they afford to pay that in additional precept to the police authority for more police officers to do it?"

But a report by Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International, which specialises in research into crime reduction and security, said while some senior police officers saw working with private security as a threat, others had embraced the idea.

Professor Martin Gill, director of Perpetuity Group, said: "I think to dismiss it too quickly is dangerous in itself, especially as we move into a new era where there are cutbacks.

"There is going to be a greater strain on police officers and they are going to have to look to different ways of policing."

"There are going to be some brave police forces that go out there and set out a different way of doing things where they find better ways of embracing resources in the community, including private security."

The full report can be seen on BBC Inside Out East and London on Monday 7 March at 1930 GMT on BBC1.

THis is quite worrying for me as we see at the same time thousands of frontline and backroom police workers and officers being removed from their jobs. We can see now with this later report where the tories plan to fill the gaps. It is clear that these private security firms will have vested interests and would have been allowed to move in with permission with the tories. You can imagine there would have been some dodgy deal done that we dont know about.

Now i'm not the greatest fan of our police in this country but i do think for teh good honest policeman or woman they deserve better than this. They do a hard job in the circumstances and i do feel sorry for them with this latest move.

Hopefully this is not a start of things to come with more and more privatisation of our public services once they have been cut.


  1. Well done a good site, keep up the good work, I am a serving fire-fighter and it is nice to see that someone is making the effort....

  2. thanks very much i always appreciate comments like that. i think you guys in the fire brigade do a excelent job, are you in teh FBU ? i think they are a fine union with matt rack at the top i always support you guys when you call industrial action as i realise how tough the job is. we stand with you brothers

  3. CSAS has been operating for years-I was offered a chance to become accredited when I was working in a shopping complex.My answer to my employers was to leave-if a Security person asked me for my name and address I would never comply.This was Nu Labour extending what they referred to as 'the extended police family'.