In a story this week which doesn’t appear to have received much publicity at all, it was said that Norfolk police were looking into the possibility that their officers & staff could be hired out to the local community to raise cash for the force.
It said that cops could soon be patrolling local schools, colleges & shops & could offer specialist driving lessons & car servicing. The initiative is being piloted in Norfol & includes PCSOs which culd see them raise £500,000 which would be equivalent to a 1% rise in the force’s council tax share.
Chief Constable Ian McPherson is quoted as saying, "There are opportunities out there. We should be looking to exploit the market."
It strikes me as rather odd that a police force should need to raise extra funds towards front line policing when 100% of that cash should come from the government (tax-payer). I’m reminded of all that charity work which ought to be funded by the government but isn’t – for instance the RNLI, medevac helicopters etc – whilst there is some understanding that the government don’t fund some of those things which raise money by charitable means, I can see no reason why something as fundamental & important as law & order should need to look at alternative methods of funding.
And did they say that officers could be patrolling schools, colleges & shops? or is that ‘the community’? I thought that was one of our fundamental roles. Oh silly me, we don’t patrol anything these days do we; we have more officers than any time in history & don’t have enough to deal with all the calls we get every day without doing useful things like patrolling our community, reducing the fear of crime & making streets safer.