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THE planned national introduction of a private police force to plug gaps in austerity-hit services is “utterly appalling,” Labour said today.
My Local Bobby charges up to £200 a month for “bespoke protective services” such as direct access to a local officer who can be tracked via an app and a meet-and-greet service from train stations.
While the force has no policing powers, it can make citizen’s arrests and gather evidence to launch private prosecutions.
Ex-Met officer David McKelvey, who co-founded the company, told the Sunday Express that the company was “taking things back to Dixon of Dock Green-style policing.”
Following a pilot in three of London’s wealthiest areas, Belgravia, Kensington and Mayfair, there are plans to roll My Local Bobby out nationwide.
But Labour’s shadow policing minister Louise Haigh said it was “utterly appalling that people are turning to private security services to feel safe.
“This is the legacy of eight years of Theresa May’s austerity in policing.”
Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh said a private force was “not a good idea because the police are the police.”
He added that the police had “extraordinary powers that no-one else has to do what we do.”
While saying that the idea was not “the panacea” to recent violence in the capital, Mr Marsh added, however, that “vigilance is required by everyone and, if these individuals can add to that in some way and can do patrols that we can’t do in private areas on council estates, then of course I would welcome [that].”
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