Parish constables win approval: Public invited to write job specification for revived police rank
Parish councils and other groups are being asked to submit ideas for duties, powers, method of selection, title and uniform - but not for salaries, since the job will carry none.
Mr Howard announced the plan during the Christchurch by-election campaign. Fears that it was just an election gimmick were alleviated when the organisations representing all police ranks gave tacit approval, by agreeing that their members will join the panel of competition judges.
Also on the panel will be Clive Aslet, the editor of Country Life magazine, whose campaign against rural crime - which in recent years has risen more steeply than urban crime, in some areas by as much as 700 per cent - included the proposal for the reintroduction of the parish bobby.
The office of parish constable virtually died with the Metropolitan Police Act of 1829, which laid the groundwork for the the modern police force. The Home Secretary believes it could be useful again, to deter vigilante groups.
Mr Howard said yesterday: 'We need to do all we can to strengthen the partnership against crime.' The parish constable would 'act as a new channel of communication between the public and the police, and would help organise local crime prevention initiatives, such as neighbourhood watch and farm watch'. Ideas culled from winning entries will be used in pilot schemes. Alan Eastwood, chairman of the Police Federation, which represents 120,000 junior ranks, is a panel member. He said: 'The fight against crime is not solely down to the police; it is society's problem.' He thinks the parish constable can be part of the solution.
A MORI survey, published today, shows that most people support the principle of reinforcing police presence with local security patrols. The survey, commissioned by the BBC's Panorama programme, shows that many people live in fear of crime; 54 per cent of the sample believing they are likely to fall victim to burglars, and 60 per cent to car thieves. More than half said they would support private patrols, 27 per cent saying they would participate.
Entries for the parish constable competition should be sent to room 624, Home Office, 50 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9AT.
Leading article, page 17
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
Rowan Atkinson to sell £10 million McLaren 'supercar' he crashed into a tree and a lamppost
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
£14560 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers personalise...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A really exciting opportunity has arisen for a...
£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An established, family owned de...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exciting position has risen for a Customer ...