Friday, May 15, 2009
Police have been ordered to go on litter patrol in a bid to boost the number of people nicked for minor offences.
Officers will be forced to ditch their uniforms and go out undercover in plain clothes in an attempt to hit performance targets.
However cops are furious over the move – because they don’t even have the powers to issue on-the-spot-fines.
Instead, they will have to radio a PCSO – a lower ranking officer – to attend the scene to slap the offender with a £50 to £80 penalty.
(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)
Home Office rules state that only PCSOs and council officers can issue such fines.
The crackdown is being run by North Wales Police where year-on-year serious crime statistics have rocketed.
As well as pulling up more people for littering, officers have also been told to be on the look out for people allowing their dogs to foul the pavement.
PC Richard Eccles, the General Secretary of the North Wales Police Federation, said that officers ‘felt like plonkers’ catching offenders and then having to wait for a PCSO.
He said that, in a bid to hit performance targets, police chiefs from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) even went out on the streets themselves to take photos of ‘evidence’.
They the called a meeting with officers and used the pictures to justify the crackdown
Full story here.