The MP for Bury St Edmunds, David Ruffley, puts forward strong arguments in the Daily Telegraph for a Police Reserve, a concept that I would fully support. He points out that it could mirror the retained firefighters or the Territorial army, whereby volunteers would be paid a retainer, expected to attend for training at regular intervals and be paid a sensible rate when called to duty.
He suggests that "they could mirror the retained firefighters, most of whom receive up to £2,821 a year, and an additional call-out fee of up to £12.88 per hour. Last year, the country employed 29,735 full-time firefighters and 11,899 auxiliaries – yet the auxiliaries cost only £130 million, out of a total cost of £1.64 billion" .Good value indeed!
We are clearly going to need a Police reserve. So called "Flash Mobs" demonstrated the possibility of getting large numbers of people to a venue without any warning, and in some respects the ability of the looters to chose a new, unexpected, location is merely an extension of this. Like fires, such looting can now break out anywhere at any time. As with the fire brigades, extra assistance is needed when there are major incidents, or if more than one incident occurs at the same time, and local reservists are a practical solution.If it works for the fire brigades, why shouldn't it work for the police?
Incidentally, David Ruffley is the first MP that I am aware of who has put forward a sensible, cost-effective, proposal for future policing. That means, of course, that it will be totally ignored!
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