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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat

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    UK Newspaper Story Thread

    I have taken to reading the UK papers and news websites now that I have nothing to do for the next few weeks.

    Sadly I have managed to get hooked on the mindless propoganda of the Daily Mail.

    Todays story.

    Babies on the beat: Two 16-year-olds are recruited as community bobbies

    By STEPHEN WRIGHT - More by this author Last updated at 00:48am on 13th August 2007 Comments
    Two 16-year-olds have been recruited as police community support officers with the authority to detain and question suspects.

    The pair, just out of school, will join foot patrols from a 'busy' police station.
    The move by Thames Valley Police has triggered a row about public safety and allegations that forces - and the Government - are trying to "police on the cheap".
    The teenagers are two years too young to join the regular police force. If they were offenders, they would be tried in juvenile rather than adult courts.
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    Two 16-year olds have been recruited as police community support officers with the authority to detain and question suspects


    Yet they will have a string of powers, including the right to detain offenders, stop and search under terror laws, issue penalty notices for disorder and stop vehicles.


    The development is the latest controversy to hit PCSOs, dubbed Blunkett's Bobbies after the Home Secretary who created them - but now being branded Blunkett's Babies.
    Full-time police must be at least 18, but there is no minimum for PCSOs. Jan Berry, chairman of the 139,000-strong Police Federation, said 16-year-olds did not have the skills to go on the front line.
    "To expect someone so young to put on a police uniform and patrol the streets is a few steps too far," she said.
    "It puts pressure on them as they have neither the maturity or experience to deal with situations they are likely to confront. This means they are more likely to let down their colleagues and the public."
    Federation officials claim Labour is deliberately replacing full-time officers with cheaper PCSOs to save money. Support officers cost the taxpayer at least 10,000 a year less.
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    Though PCSOs have the power to seize alcohol from under-age drinkers, it is understood the young recruits will not enter pubs in the course of their duties.
    One Federation official pointed out that, technically, they could not deal with a disturbance in a cinema if a certificate 18 film was being shown.
    Shadow Home Secretary David Davis said: "We want to see as many police and PCSOs as possible. But they must be able to do the job and have the confidence of colleagues and the public.
    "There are important ways for young people to contribute to their communities, but recruiting 16-year-olds to frontline policing puts them and those around them at risk.
    "It defies common sense and speaks volumes about the Government's reckless approach to public safety."
    Thames Valley Police said: "We have recruited these people because they demonstrated the skills that we need. They bring experience of being able to interact with the public - especially young people. If you are good enough, you are old enough."
    But sources at Thames Valley admitted the force is under huge Government pressure to reach targets on the recruitment of PCSOs and could lose funding if it failed to do so.
    Thames Valley PCSOs earn 17,000-20,000, depending on the hours they work. A full PC starts at 21,000, rising to 33,000.
    The force's extraordinary decision was revealed by a local Police Federation official.
    In an e-mail to colleagues around the country, Jay Williams said: "We are informed that risk assessments have been conducted and the force are aware that in law they are children and this presents some restrictions.
    "I would be grateful if you would contact me if any of your forces have recruited PCSOs of this age and your experiences of how these have been managed."
    The civilian officers were introduced by David Blunkett in 2003 to be a reassuring, visible presence on the street.
    They have only a fraction of the training given to police - an initial course of just five weeks compared to 19. A recent official report raised concerns over their performance, citing cases of PCSOs fighting each other, eating and shopping while on duty and struggling with simple tasks.
    The number of PCSOs is set to soar over the next year. Eight of the 43 forces in England and Wales expect to be recruiting more support officers than police by 2008.
    Sound like a familiar tail?

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat

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    Remove abondend vehicles? DOes that mean that they can drive away in last nights joyrides?

    I rememeber getting five good BMW alloys off two wrecked 325's near my old GF's horses. They were dumped over a hump back bridge in the arse end of nowhere. Two nights in a row. Day there was one with three good wheels and one cracked. Next day there was another one beside it. Three good wheels one cracked and one spare.

    My mates and I managed to get five wheels off.

  3. #3
    Being chased by sloths DJ Pat's Avatar
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    Oh dear.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like the sort of job you could do for a couple of hours after school before Blue Peter comes on the box.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat

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    I can't really picture it working.

    The only people who would sign up are those wierd pimply boys at school who were always trying to be cool but not doing very well at it.

    They would get the crap beaten out of them if they stopped and searched somebody.
    Can you imagine having a 16 year old kid walk up to you and detain you on grounds of being a terrorist?

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