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fbo194

Time for more varied but defined police forces

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fbo194

There are many different police forces, officers, police staff, Council Officers, wardens, marshals, hospital security, prison officers, highway officers, inspectors, court officers, security officers, animal control etc.

Is it time for the UK to adapt more to the needs of 21st Century public safety and have more police forces/‘police officers’ ... as in swear in court officers to be able to arrest escaping prisoners  and violent persons, swear in hospital officers - to become a regional or national hospital Force to better safeguard people. Or a Mental Health police service, dealing with just those cases (and security at MH hospitals)  

It could be (dare I say it) similar to the US forces, where there are much more varied and clearly defined agencies, who may not exclusively deal with problem X, but is trained, geared and ready to do so (e.g. NYC has a Sanitation Police Force!)

Same with local wardens, marshals etc, who deal with ASB, littering etc, who would benefit much more in being something akin to European ‘urban/local police’.

There are now many uniformed persons, with varying degrees of power, that although there could be many arguments against it ... at least a bit more standardisation for the public’s sake and support for the people who deal with crime and public safety, could be achieved.

Examples 

USA - Highway Patrol

Italy - polizia local / urban - traffic control, ASB crimes, litter 

Nigeria - Federal Road Safety Corps (sort of slightly corrupt DVSA Officers with arrest powers)

US - Hospital, school and Mental Health police. 

 

Faults they have, but they seem to all have police/Constable powers and better understood role than say e.g. bylaw enforcement officers.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by fbo194

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Zulu 22
2 hours ago, fbo194 said:

There are many different police forces, officers, police staff, Council Officers, wardens, marshals, hospital security, prison officers, highway officers, inspectors, court officers, security officers, animal control etc.

Is it time for the UK to adapt more to the needs of 21st Century public safety and have more police forces/‘police officers’ ... as in swear in court officers to be able to arrest escaping prisoners  and violent persons, swear in hospital officers - to become a regional or national hospital Force to better safeguard people. Or a Mental Health police service, dealing with just those cases (and security at MH hospitals)  

It could be (dare I say it) similar to the US forces, where there are much more varied and clearly defined agencies, who may not exclusively deal with problem X, but is trained, geared and ready to do so (e.g. NYC has a Sanitation Police Force!)

Same with local wardens, marshals etc, who deal with ASB, littering etc, who would benefit much more in being something akin to European ‘urban/local police’.

There are now many uniformed persons, with varying degrees of power, that although there could be many arguments against it ... at least a bit more standardisation for the public’s sake and support for the people who deal with crime and public safety, could be achieved.

Examples 

USA - Highway Patrol

Italy - polizia local / urban - traffic control, ASB crimes, litter 

Nigeria - Federal Road Safety Corps (sort of slightly corrupt DVSA Officers with arrest powers)

US - Hospital, school and Mental Health police. 

 

Faults they have, but they seem to all have police/Constable powers and better understood role than say e.g. bylaw enforcement officers.

 

Thoughts?

All those examples you give are broken systems with many failures. Our problem is,  that because we have abrogated duties for so long that local authorities have set up agencies, and why. Because they have been failed by an understaffed Police.

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fbo194
Author of the topic Posted
1 hour ago, Zulu 22 said:

All those examples you give are broken systems with many failures. Our problem is,  that because we have abrogated duties for so long that local authorities have set up agencies, and why. Because they have been failed by an understaffed Police.

Would it not make sense to then change those agencies into police authorities so they would not have to call out and rely on the police to deal with them the issue, thus saving staffing?

this is all hypothetical, just interested on hearing what could/not work ...

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Beaker

God no.  Outside of specific circumstances specialist forces aren't really going to work. American game buddy works for a Sheriff department, and he also has to deal with the local town PD and Highway patrol as well as the local Military Police when they think it might be something that they have an interest in.  He said it would be a dream to be the ONLY organisation having to deal with stuff like he used to when he worked in a city.  From what he's said they spend a lot of time looking at each other's stuff, deciding if they want it or not and then trying to shove it back and forth until the music stops and the person holding the case gets to keep it. 

Stuff like The railway makes sense, as does Ports/Airports, Nuclear and Military.  Possibly having a dedicated motorway force may have some advantages, but beyond that it would get very complicated and confusing. 

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Radman

I think there is scope for having some form of "Special Constable" role being explored for certain organisations, so an easy example would be:

1. Local Authorities. 

2. Hospitals/NHS (The health service is crying out for more police protection and interest.) 

3. Highways. 

I mean this in the classical sense of the term "Special Constable" where officers can be appointed as constables for certain jurisdictions/areas for certain pieces of legislation with primary criminal investigation still being left with the territorial police force, examples that exist under this model today in the UK are:

1. Parks Police within London 

2. Cathedral Constables 

But for general patrol, byelaw enforcement (something completely under utilised across the UK) ASB/Crime prevention having an officer warranted with PPE alongside full powers of arrest to deal with these instances is infinitely more useful than a PCSO or Council Warden. I would also have them down only as a "body of constables" rather than an actual service or force. 

Many cops within the UK seem to think the best model forward is further mergers and integration of forces into regional or even national forces, police Scotland has shown us again this often isn't in the interest of the public and is more of a political move, centralising power whilst at the same time leading to further alienation between police and local communities. I mentioned this in another thread but County Forces are governed by central government, we may well have 43 police forces ON PAPER but the reality is they all very much dance to the tune of the Home Office rather than to the tune their local communities want them to, this has led in part to the erosion of community policing issues and the withdrawal of front facing bobbies out on the streets. 

The sad truth is many organisations could do more if they wanted but don't as it is far too easy for them to push issues onto the police service, the police service itself hasn't helped matters when forces had significant budgets in place discouraging organisations from employing more enforcement orientated security or utilising any person powers. 

Edited by Radman

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Zulu 22

It will upset many in here but, Special Constables should only be in Constabularies. 

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Radman
5 minutes ago, Zulu 22 said:

It will upset many in here but, Special Constables should only be in Constabularies. 

It's the term "Special Constable" has come to mean different things in modern day society. 

Traditionally the term was used to describe constables that were not "Police Constables" or constables sworn in under a corporation act (local authority.)

There is some surviving legislation which still exists today that uses the term 'Special Constable' meaning a jurisdictional appointment these being Port Police, in law atleast they are described as 'Special Constables' not 'Police Constables.'

They're 'special' because they have a specialist remit or jurisdiction in law not because they are volunteers (which is what we all think of today.) I'm certain I read that prior to the Transport Commission the railway constables of old were 'special' constables or atleast this was the case under one of the old London Transport Acts.

As we see time and time again effective policing cannot be left just to the Home Office to deal with, especially when it comes to matters which are deemed irrelevant or unimportant in the grand scheme of things, its why we've seen partially the increase in crime, ASB and disorder that we have seen, police forces cannot dedicate the time to appropriately police it and the remaining organisations are simply ineffective at doing so. 

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Radman
10 hours ago, Beaker said:

God no.  Outside of specific circumstances specialist forces aren't really going to work. American game buddy works for a Sheriff department, and he also has to deal with the local town PD and Highway patrol as well as the local Military Police when they think it might be something that they have an interest in.  He said it would be a dream to be the ONLY organisation having to deal with stuff like he used to when he worked in a city.  From what he's said they spend a lot of time looking at each other's stuff, deciding if they want it or not and then trying to shove it back and forth until the music stops and the person holding the case gets to keep it. 

Stuff like The railway makes sense, as does Ports/Airports, Nuclear and Military.  Possibly having a dedicated motorway force may have some advantages, but beyond that it would get very complicated and confusing. 

Ask your same friend if he would want all police departments governed by the federal government. 

I can almost guarantee the answer he'd give would be "no" but in the UK this is exactly the model we have in place now, central government controls policing which is really bad for local community actions and priorities. 

Edited by Radman

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fbo194
Author of the topic Posted
11 hours ago, Beaker said:

God no.  Outside of specific circumstances specialist forces aren't really going to work. American game buddy works for a Sheriff department, and he also has to deal with the local town PD and Highway patrol as well as the local Military Police when they think it might be something that they have an interest in.  He said it would be a dream to be the ONLY organisation having to deal with stuff like he used to when he worked in a city.  From what he's said they spend a lot of time looking at each other's stuff, deciding if they want it or not and then trying to shove it back and forth until the music stops and the person holding the case gets to keep it. 

Stuff like The railway makes sense, as does Ports/Airports, Nuclear and Military.  Possibly having a dedicated motorway force may have some advantages, but beyond that it would get very complicated and confusing. 

Interesting to hear it from the horse's mouth so to speak. 

But [not] taking responsibility for issues and giving them off to others surely must happen almost anywhere? 

Agree with railways, ports, mil etc.

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fbo194
Author of the topic Posted
1 hour ago, Radman said:

I think there is scope for having some form of "Special Constable" role being explored for certain organisations, so an easy example would be:

1. Local Authorities. 

2. Hospitals/NHS (The health service is crying out for more police protection and interest.) 

3. Highways. 

I mean this in the classical sense of the term "Special Constable" where officers can be appointed as constables for certain jurisdictions/areas for certain pieces of legislation with primary criminal investigation still being left with the territorial police force, examples that exist under this model today in the UK are:

1. Parks Police within London 

2. Cathedral Constables 

But for general patrol, byelaw enforcement (something completely under utilised across the UK) ASB/Crime prevention having an officer warranted with PPE alongside full powers of arrest to deal with these instances is infinitely more useful than a PCSO or Council Warden. I would also have them down only as a "body of constables" rather than an actual service or force. 

Many cops within the UK seem to think the best model forward is further mergers and integration of forces into regional or even national forces, police Scotland has shown us again this often isn't in the interest of the public and is more of a political move, centralising power whilst at the same time leading to further alienation between police and local communities. I mentioned this in another thread but County Forces are governed by central government, we may well have 43 police forces ON PAPER but the reality is they all very much dance to the tune of the Home Office rather than to the tune their local communities want them to, this has led in part to the erosion of community policing issues and the withdrawal of front facing bobbies out on the streets. 

The sad truth is many organisations could do more if they wanted but don't as it is far too easy for them to push issues onto the police service, the police service itself hasn't helped matters when forces had significant budgets in place discouraging organisations from employing more enforcement orientated security or utilising any person powers. 

Do you know of any existing legislation that could be used to appoint e.g. NHS Hospital Special Constables, that could do a more thorough job?

Interesting to see that it is clearly still valued in London with their various park police/constables etc & the few Cathedral Constables nationwide.

Perhaps, it is lack of awareness or study (and possibly power to) which means other areas of society don't follow the Parks/Railways and Cathedral style... 

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Radman
1 hour ago, fbo194 said:

Do you know of any existing legislation that could be used to appoint e.g. NHS Hospital Special Constables, that could do a more thorough job?

Interesting to see that it is clearly still valued in London with their various park police/constables etc & the few Cathedral Constables nationwide.

Perhaps, it is lack of awareness or study (and possibly power to) which means other areas of society don't follow the Parks/Railways and Cathedral style... 

No it doesn't exist for the NHS.

There are however various bits and pieces of legislation dotted about the place that still exist which would allow the appointment of constables outside of 'the norm. ' Almost all of it comes from very, very old acts and statutes which have survived various culls over the years. 

The closest national piece of legislation which does exist that would allow for a local authority to appoint constables is:

Section 77 Public Health Ammendments Act 1907 

That act allows a Council authority (including a Parish Council) the ability to appoint their own Constables in law purely for the protection of Parks and Open Spaces, its not very well written and open to legal interpretation but it is seemingly for byelaw enforcement, the act does make mention of the previous Public Health Acts alongside other open space legislation. As far as I'm aware this act hasn't been used since Brighton Council disbanded their own Parks Constabulary sometime in the 90s.

@ParochialYokal is the resident expert on these obscure pieces of law and legislation, he has done more than anyone else when it comes to both finding them and interpreting them. 

Cathedral Constables pose something of a legal anomaly as they are sworn in as Constables by a Magistrate at a Common Law level with no underpinning legislation at all, this would pose the question that if fully attested officers are being sworn in by common law appointment for one particular area, why can't that same appointment be used for another? 🤷🏼‍♂️

 

 

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fbo194
Author of the topic Posted
22 hours ago, Radman said:

No it doesn't exist for the NHS.

There are however various bits and pieces of legislation dotted about the place that still exist which would allow the appointment of constables outside of 'the norm. ' Almost all of it comes from very, very old acts and statutes which have survived various culls over the years. 

The closest national piece of legislation which does exist that would allow for a local authority to appoint constables is:

Section 77 Public Health Ammendments Act 1907 

That act allows a Council authority (including a Parish Council) the ability to appoint their own Constables in law purely for the protection of Parks and Open Spaces, its not very well written and open to legal interpretation but it is seemingly for byelaw enforcement, the act does make mention of the previous Public Health Acts alongside other open space legislation. As far as I'm aware this act hasn't been used since Brighton Council disbanded their own Parks Constabulary sometime in the 90s.

@ParochialYokal is the resident expert on these obscure pieces of law and legislation, he has done more than anyone else when it comes to both finding them and interpreting them. 

Cathedral Constables pose something of a legal anomaly as they are sworn in as Constables by a Magistrate at a Common Law level with no underpinning legislation at all, this would pose the question that if fully attested officers are being sworn in by common law appointment for one particular area, why can't that same appointment be used for another? 🤷🏼‍♂️

 

 

As you say then for hospitals it would need new legislation, but I struggle to see how Cathedral Constables aresworn in under Common Law. Surely in this day and age it would be better to have them under an properly defined  Act which denotes their powers etc? Not that we should hinder them ... seems like a wonderful idea to keep those wonderful buildings safe.

 I agree, if used in one area, why not another!

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fbo194
Author of the topic Posted

On a tangent, could it be an appropriate time to swear in Service (Military) Policemen as Constables, whilst acting as such, to give them better scope when working in UK, joint patrols, civilian/forces areas etc.

They are  sworn in as Special Constables I think in the Falklands and have powers over some civilians and dependents in Germany etc.

Could help improve their understanding of police work, give more backup to police officers etc.

Obviously, not like Europe where the military gendarmerie are the second police Force, or US where I think it is forbidden to use US troops on home soil.

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Ether
2 hours ago, fbo194 said:

On a tangent, could it be an appropriate time to swear in Service (Military) Policemen as Constables, whilst acting as such, to give them better scope when working in UK, joint patrols, civilian/forces areas etc.

They are  sworn in as Special Constables I think in the Falklands and have powers over some civilians and dependents in Germany etc.

Could help improve their understanding of police work, give more backup to police officers etc.

Obviously, not like Europe where the military gendarmerie are the second police Force, or US where I think it is forbidden to use US troops on home soil.

Been proposed as part of a Service Justice review and easily achievable. Many have already held the office of Constable in the Falklands or routinely police civilians in Germany and Cyprus. The application of law is no different and that joint working takes place every single day in the UK, with investigations swapped between military and civilian police routinely. 
 

The understanding of Police work isn’t lacking, it just operates slightly differently, not hugely so. 

Edited by Ether

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Beaker
1 hour ago, Ether said:

Been proposed as part of a Service Justice review and easily achievable. Many have already held the office of Constable in the Falklands or routinely police civilians in Germany and Cyprus. The application of law is no different and that joint working takes place every single day in the UK, with investigations swapped between military and civilian police routinely. 
 

The understanding of Police work isn’t lacking, it just operates slightly differently, not hugely so. 

Heck, we have CNC doing patrols with IR around Heysham and Morcambe now.  Getting MOD Police involved and giving powers to Military Police shouldn't be a massive jump.

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