General Question

kevbo's avatar

Britons, what is this article talking about?

Asked by kevbo (25672points) September 9th, 2008

Politics aside (although feel free to inject your own) what are they talking about in this article? Who are the “red and white prefect badge” people? Is this like a volunteer community police force or something? Please explain. Thanks!

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12 Answers

allengreen's avatar

Sounds like 1984, Orwell.

Who said, “Those who would trade their liberty for saftey deserver neither”?

damien's avatar

Community Wardens. They’re wannabe policemen. Plastic cops. They’re paid by local councils to do the work that the police are too busy to do. I don’t think they have the right to arrest someone. As that article suggests, most of what they seem to do is pretty useless.

Lightlyseared's avatar

What he’s talking about are police comunity support officers. Their job is to support the work of the police. It’s sort of like a teachers asistant except for police. They do not have the same powers as the police ie they can’t arrest suspects but can detain a susspect while awaiting a police officer to the actual work. To be honest their role is a bit fuzzy and its genearlly seen as policing on the cheap. The idea is you have a load of people wandering about in uniform and this deters crime.

We do have volunteer police offices called special constables who hilariously get the same training as the regular ploice and do have all the same powers of arrest etc

The refernce to “red and white prefect badge” people refers to the habit of schools giving a badge (red and white with the word prefect on it) to well behaved pupils giving them limited power over other pupils – the equivalent of “hall monitors” in th US I suppose

kevbo's avatar

Thank you. In my city we have “Police Service Aides,” but they mainly deal with traffic accidents and parking violations.

I can see now how the prefect badge reference was intended. Ouch.

pathfinder's avatar

rise of the footsoldier is good exampel.the law is tought but police understandable.

oasis's avatar

Pathfinder,what the fuck does that mean.

ssteward's avatar

Intrigued by the quote in the first answer, I looked it up. Apparently it’s attributed to Benjamin Franklin and has been paraphrased a lot over the years. The original was:

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

bonus's avatar

Hall Monitors.

Trillian's avatar

Does anybody else think of the term “Hitler Youth” when they read this article? This sounds dangerous to me. The statement that the author made about prisons do not reform criminals and that crime is a result of more than personal moral failure, but rather a result of complex social issues is spot on.
@ Kevbo, I strongly recommend that you read Dr. David Lykken’s article about crime and a controversial cure.

JeffVader's avatar

Ah…. here in the UK we’ve developed a whole swathe of people with limited law enforcement powers…. street wardens, litter wardens, & the thorn in everyone’s side…. the Police Community Support Officer. Basically a whole bunch of people who didn’t have what it takes to get into the Police force, but they’ve been given lesser badges anyway. PCSO’s are more insidious than the rest though as they dress like Police Officers….

kevbo's avatar

@JeffVader, what a freakin’ nightmare.

JeffVader's avatar

@kevbo I kow, jumped up little Hitlers are everywhere!

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