Drivers who break law may lose licences on the spot

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The Independent Online

Two months after his force mistakenly shot dead the Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes, he also provoked controversy by suggesting ex-soldiers could be hired to work as police firearms officers with only an extra "small amount of basic training".

Sir Ian argued that extra powers were needed as the court system was often too slow to deal with some types of problem behaviour. "In the same way that we've developed officers with lesser amounts of powers maybe we should develop officers with more powers so they can instantly do things," he said.

He also told the Police Superintendents' Association conference: "One of the ideas that can emerge from workforce modernisation is to have some police officers paid more with more powers to impose an interim Asbo." Sir Ian admitted allowing officers to impose instant punishments could blur the line between police and magistrates, but said it could be legitimate as long as it was time-limited and police received training.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of civil rights group Liberty, said: "This is more like summary justice, which has no place in a democracy. He's supposed to be the Met Commissioner, not Judge Dredd."

The AA Motoring Trust also expressed alarm over the driving licence proposal. It said: "Someone could effectively lose the ability to do their job ."