Civilians to help 'solve cybercrime'

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Theresa MaySpitting
Image caption Home Secretary Theresa May said she was “did to finishing the job of police reform”

Civilian recruits will help supervise solve cybercrime under an ex nsion of the role of volunteers in England and Wales, the welcoming comfortable with secretary has said.

The plans include measures to give more power to fortifying staff and volunteers.

Forces will be able to identify volunteers who specialise in accountancy or ascertaining for cyber and finance inquiries, Theresa May said.

Unison, which represents protect staff, said it was concerned it was a way to “plug the huge gap” left by cuts.

Curtain home secretary Andy Burnham said the move sounded as if a “back-door means” of filling cut posts and “could lead to policing on the low-cost”.

But Mrs May said she was “committed to finishing the job of police reform”.

Since 1831, civilians demand been able to exercise the full range of police powers as ramount constables.

‘Free up officers’

Potential volunteers in England and Wales currently enjoy two options – become a special constable, or ask to become a police support volunteer. The behindhand role has no powers.

But the measures – which will form rt of the Policing and Misdeed Bill – would allow volunteers to be given powers without meet a special constable, while also creating a core list of powers rigid for police officers.

Mrs May said: “Police officers across the native land carry out a wide range of duties, keeping the public safe and ensuring even-handedness for the most vulnerable members of society.

“We value the essential role they brown-nose a toy with, but they cannot do this on their own.

“We want to help forces to form a more flexible workforce, bring in new skills and free up officers’ schedule to focus on the jobs only they can carry out.”

She said people with IT or accountancy facilities were in ” rticular demand”, and could “work alongside control officers to investigate cyber or financial crime, and help officers and truncheon fight crime more widely”.

The Home Office report, released move behind a consultation last year, said the law would be amended to create flat police community support volunteers (PCSVs) and policing support volunteers.

Powers that could be pinpointed to volunteers include the ability to detain a person for up to 30 minutes and search someone who has been detained for risky items – provided the chief constable has authorised it and it is appropriate to the work the volunteer is doing.


What is the task of volunteers in the police?

There are 16,000 volunteer police officers in England and Wales recollected as special constables.

Specials undergo training, wear police habit and have the same powers in law as their “regular” colleagues.

They turn to on tasks such as foot trol, crowd control and crime check and have to be available for at least 16 hours each month.

In as well, there are 9,000 volunteers performing a wide variety of different baton jobs in the police.

The union Unison, which surveyed police forces survive year, says Kent has the largest number of volunteers (850), while volunteers in Thames Valley put in the most hours (70,000).

The study identified more than 60 volunteer roles, ranging from mountain saving to animal welfare, crime scene investigation to firearms licensing.

In Scotland there are to 850 special constables. Police Scotland does not use volunteers in the in any event way as forces in England and Wales but instead has a youth volunteer programme.


Mr Burnham requested for Mrs May to “provide assurance” that the measures “won’t lead to standards being compromised or corners cut”.

“The involvement is that these volunteers will not be checked or trained in the same way as those who volunteer as specialized constables,” he said.

Image caption The proposed measures disposition form rt of the Policing and Crime Bill

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis put giving police volunteers more powers was a “huge mistake”.

“Volunteers cannot be deployed to address oneself to serious crime in the middle of the night, and they are free to absent themselves from the workplace at any eventually, because they have no contract of employment,” he said.

“This shows volunteers totally unsuitable for police forces that need to discern they can turn out staff in an emergency.

“Having cut police budgets relentlessly, the sway is clearly pinning its hopes on a volunteer army to plug the huge gap left-wing by the loss of so many dedicated and skilled police staff.”

‘More flexile’

Mrs May’s measures also confirmed the abolition of the role of police traffic warden.

BBC well-versed in affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said this was a “technical modification”, reflecting the fact that – since rking enforcement was decriminalised, with town authorities taking on the role – there are now only 18 traffic wardens take up by the police.

Meanwhile, forces in Hampshire and Gloucestershire have already organized a pilot scheme to attract volunteers with digital skills to tolerate “digital investigations”.

Dave Jones, National Police Chiefs’ Gathering lead for citizens in policing, said: “The new approach to designating boys in blue powers will help the police service be more flexible when it down attack to attracting and deploying volunteers with valuable skills, especially in ball games where the full powers of a constable are not necessary.”

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