A force of private police officers which promises a more traditional form of crime prevention and investigation once common in the United Kingdom is to expand operations after finding success in London.
The company, My Local Bobby, was founded by two former senior police officers and offers its customers a back to basics police service. The private patrols presently cost customers between £100 and £200 a month.
Police Data: UK Violent Crime Wave Grows Even Faster, London Knife Attacks up 40 Per Cent https://t.co/vPHv17gFev
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 25, 2018
Comparing the style of the security officers employed by the company to the old-fashioned, common-sense officers on the street known in Britain during the 1950s, Former Metropolitan Police detective chief inspector David McKelvey told The Express:
“You don’t see policemen walk around the streets any more.
“If you call 101 it’s a 30-minute wait and it is not a police officer who answers.
“My Local Bobby is basically taking things back to Dixon of Dock Green-style policing.”
Amid London Crimewave, Concern About Crime Surges to Seven-Year High, Brexit Top National Concern https://t.co/OuYXzH0NPD
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 4, 2018
While the My Local Bobby security officers don’t have the same powers as regular officers, they have run investigations into crimes, protected areas from anti-social behaviour, and can perform arrests — as can anyone in the United Kingdom, commonly known as a ‘citizen’s arrest’. Other local security organisations already exist in the United Kingdom operating under these principles, for instance, the Jewish Shomrim groups — uniformed volunteers doing police work among London Jewish communities.
Despite the strong record of fruitful cooperation between the Metropolitan Police and the Shomrim, police came out to criticise the new force, saying “the Met does not support activities by individuals or groups who target suspected criminals. Speaking to London radio station LBC, Metropolitan Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh remarked: “They are not police officers and please do not ever kid yourself that they are.”
The company has already investigated a murder, moved on drug dealers, and gathers evidence for prosecutions.
The surprise success of the concept, which provides services that should theoretically be provided free at point of use by the British state and paid for out of taxation, comes amid an unprecedented crime wave in Mayor Sadiq Khan’s London, which has seen almost all measures of violent crime soar.
Mayor Khan: ‘I Can’t Solve London Knife Crime,’ Blames Right Wingers https://t.co/92B7l2yrJW
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 18, 2018
Breitbart London has reported on the impact of London’s crime wave, which has seen 62 suspected murders including 36 fatal stabbings so far in 2018 — pushing the British capital’s murder rate above that of New York for the first time in two centuries. Concern about the impact of violent crime is now so pronounced it has hit a seven-year high.
While public concern fixates on violent crime, police priorities have been at times focussed elsewhere. Mayor Sadiq Khan — who is responsible for London policing — has blamed central government for falling police numbers but statistics have revealed frontline gaps could be filled by retasking deskbound officers investigating online hate speech.
Trump Highlights Deadly Knife Crime Epidemic in Khan’s London: ‘It’s Like a War Zone’ https://t.co/nuwlP1qklr
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 5, 2018
Over 2017 there was a fall in officer numbers of over 900, equivalent to around one per cent. During that period recorded crime rose by 14 per cent overall — and London had some 900 police officers dedicated to investigating hate crime” — one of Khan’s top priorities as mayor.