‘Ello, ‘ello, ‘ello…what’s going on ‘ere then?

AnnieM, July 27, 2010

Ever thought about joining the police? Considering volunteering in your community? Now you can do both. In one of the first initiatives to spring from Cameron’s Big Society idea, civilian policing is about to get, well, big. Or so they hope. Some call it DIY policing, some call it a money-saving con. Some even call it the worst thing since unsliced bread. But whatever your views, it’s set to get debating tongues wagging from both sides of the fence.

Police volunteers isn’t by any means a new fad. It’s been possible to volunteer with the police for years. But this new shake up, which will involve creating a bank of police volunteers – or reserves – who will work alongside police officers as community crime fighters, is set to encourage even more people to volunteer for their local police force.

The government has yet to announce the exact role a police reserve will have, but some ministers have hinted that some members of the public could help with joint patrols with the police, looking out for their neighbours’.

In addition to the hyped-up police volunteering initiative the big shake up will also see:

  • Directly elected police commissioners who will oversee chief constables.
  • Commissioners for every police force across England (apart from London) will be elected in May 2012 for a term of four years with a two-term maximum. London’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner is already appointed by the Home Secretary and the Mayor.
  • Police Authorities will be scrapped. Instead,  the Police and Crime Panel will oversee each force’s commissioner.
  • National Crime Agency (NCA) will be created in 2013 and will include Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
  • The NCA will consist of two components: One - tackling organised crime and the other on border policing.

Although the new proposals are part of the Government’s plans to cut ‘red tape’ bureaucracy within the sector, Shadow Home Secretary Alan Johnson believes that the plans would actually ‘make the job harder’ for the police.

In other news...

The Government is to cut a number of quangos – and therefore jobs - as part of their cost-cutting drive. Soon-to-be-axed quangos, or Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), as they are sometimes known include:

- Health Protection Agency

- UK Film Council

- National Patient Safety Agency

- Alcohol Education and Research Council.

Fed up with all this doom and gloom? I am. So why not put something back into your community whilst job hunting and get volunteering? You never know, a permanent paid position could just come out of it.

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