UK govt proposes volunteer “police reserve”
(Cory Doctorow) As part of a set of major cuts to police budgets, the UK government has floated the idea of supplementing police with volunteer militias of “community police” who will get to tell their neighbours what to do:
The scheme was first raised in a Conservative pre-election policy document which talked of creating a “new cadre of police reserves”.
The consultation paper says that neighbourhood policing is key to David Cameron’s “big society … we want more active citizens taking part in joint patrols with the police, looking out for their neighbours and passing on safety tips as part of neighbourhood watch groups or as community crime fighters,” it says. May said she wanted to see more special constables, whose numbers have plummeted from 67,000 in the 1950s to 15,000 today.
But the paper adds that they want to go further and explore new ideas to “unlock the potential of police volunteers in the workforce, for example, as police “reservists”.