AT the British Irish Association meeting in Cambridge, the Secretary of State has again spoken about the introduction of community police officers. Hain argues that they have been “successful in Great Britain”, but how will they go down here?
Last year, Association of Chief Police Officers president Chris Fox said: “What we don’t know is how their authority will hold up if challenged.” Obviously that would happen on a daily basis here. Couple that with inexperience, a lack of UK standards and questions still to be answered about what the exact role of CSOs here will be and you have to ask: “Has Mr Hain thought this through yet?”
Anyway, as an aside, and seeing as how the Government is looking east to GB examples of good practice, here’s how Leeds has been dealing with its own anti-social problems through the use of CSOs, ASBOs and the councils Anti-Social Behaviour Unit. If I’m reading it right, Leeds Council seems to be advocating a “carrot and stick” approach, although obviously in a different context.