September 27, 2011
Thousands of civilians have been given sweeping police-style powers allowing them to fine people and demand personal details.
Following a worrying expansion of a discredited Labour project, more than 2,200 civilians including street wardens, housing officers, traffic marshals and stewards can issue financial penalties for ‘offences’ such as dropping litter, dog fouling and truancy.
Coalition ministers have allowed the numbers signed up to the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme to grow by a third over just 12 months.
It comes despite senior Liberal Democrats and Tories strongly condemning the scheme when in opposition. Under it, councils and private sector firms pay a few hundred pounds for accreditation by the local police force.