Street wardens could get police powers
STREET wardens, park rangers and security staff could be given police powers as part of the latest efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour.Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Central Limited are the first organisations to sign-up to the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme.
STREET wardens, park rangers and security staff could be given police powers as part of the latest efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour.
Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Central Limited are the first organisations to sign-up to the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme.
It means their employees will be able to give out fines and warnings in relation to issues such as graffiti, litter, abandoned cars, disorder and nuisance.
The first five rangers from Ipswich Central, which aims to promote and improve the town centre, were handed their powers by Suffolk Constabulary's Chief Constable Simon Ash yesterday.
The scheme - which has been funded by £70,000 from the county council - will now be rolled out across the rest of Suffolk.
Mr Ash said: “I wouldn't want anyone to go away with the view that this is a bolt on or a soft option - we see this as a serious extension of safer neighbourhood teams.
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“The benefits are pretty clear. We want to improve public confidence and organisations that have been accredited will clearly help us in doing so.”
Accredited people - which could include street and community wardens, park rangers and security staff - will still be employed by their own organisation and will wear their own organisations' uniform.
They will be vetted in the same way as police officers and will also wear a national logo to show they are accredited and carry an identification card setting out their powers.
Matt Gould, chairman of Suffolk Police Federation, said he had mixed feelings about the scheme.
“It is putting faith in people who have had limited training in exercising discretion on the issue of fixed penalty notices for potentially confrontational issues,” he said. “We will reserve judgement as to whether this is policing on the cheap or a useful addition to neighbourhood policing.”