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Radman

'Local Authority Constables' - Interesting Find.

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Greetings chaps,

With some threads knocking about in relation to 'Parks Police' ect I thought i'd sink some time into doing a little research.

I was under the impression that only London Boroughs/Councils/Authorities (whatever they are called ;) ) had the power to attest 'Constables' for the purpose of enforcing park byelaws.

Now during my research I came across this:

Public Health Acts Amendment Act 1907

Take note of the following:

77. Power to appoint officers.

"The local authority may appoint officers for securing the observance of this Part of this Act, and of the regulations and byelaws made thereunder, and may procure such officers to be sworn in as constables for that purpose, but any such officer shall not act as a constable unless in uniform or provided with a warrant."

Maybe im being dense but surley this reads that Local Authorities have a power to swear in their own Constables for the Enforcement of local byelaws - much more encompassing power then the one London Councils often swear their Parks Constables under, that being:

(Greater London Parks and Open Spaces) Act 1967

As far as I can tell the act is still in power and hasnt been repealed, so the question remains - why dont councils use this Public Health Acts 1907 Act to swear its own constables in? They wouldnt be limited to Parks/Open Spaces (again if im reading it right) and would be able to enforce the 'byelaws' across the local authorities area, it just seems odd that councils such as Warmsworth ect havent come across this sooner.

Of course i've probably missed something when reading through all of this but it is very odd.

Hopefully someone on here knows more about it then me and can shed some light on this.

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The key bit is;

The local authority may appoint officers for securing the observance of this Part of this Act, and of the regulations and byelaws made thereunder

That part of the act that this section is referring to is Part VI; Recreation Grounds, so basically it's just another power to appoint parks constables. It's only two sections long, with s76 giving the local authority the power to do certain things in relation to parks, and none of what is left would really require constabulary powers.

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I don't get why they don't just swear in parks police and then amend the byelaws to provide (near) police powers.

Eg. Sandford Parks and Open Spaces Byelaw (1): No person shall comit any criminal offence within the confines or immediate vicinity of a park or open space.

Then you have every single criminal offence available to be enforced by Parks Constables. This would also then allow search powers etc.

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The key bit is;

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That part of the act that this section is referring to is Part VI; Recreation Grounds, so basically it's just another power to appoint parks constables. It's only two sections long, with s76 giving the local authority the power to do certain things in relation to parks, and none of what is left would really require constabulary powers.

Thought I missed something...

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What a coincidence - I've just been looking up some of the more obscure police forces as well, and came across the Oxford and Cambridge University Constabularies. These were both formed under the Universities Act 1825 and their jurisdictions were the university premises plus the areas up to four miles beyond them. The Oxford constabulary was disbanded in 2003 but apparently the Cambridge one still exists. I'm intrigued about how it works operationally; i.e. whether it continues to act as a "proper" police force within its jurisdiction or whether it just does security and/or internal discipline and leaves the policing to Cambridgshire Constabulary.

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the big problem is the vast majority of people have bought into the idea that only police can enforce laws, anyone else is just a wannabe or Walt and is to be held up as a figure of ridicule

the reality is thousands of crimes and offences are detected and prosecuted every year without the police ever knowing about them, and some agencies have powers which the police don't have, don't know about or understand and in some cases can't have

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the big problem is the vast majority of people have bought into the idea that only police can enforce laws, anyone else is just a wannabe or Walt and is to be held up as a figure of ridicule

the reality is thousands of crimes and offences are detected and prosecuted every year without the police ever knowing about them, and some agencies have powers which the police don't have, don't know about or understand and in some cases can't have

Which crimes?

The fact is people want versatile law enforcement. They don't want someone who professes to be a 'Law Enforcement Officer' patrolling in a high-vis jacket who when approached can't deal with the robbery and the mugging but will inspect a nearby shops waste licence.

Parks constables, whilst employed by local authorities, largely do and should fulfil a peace preservation, security and law enforcement role.

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Fraud is the major one that springs to mind, various others such as environmental crimes- maybe they're not sexy but they are offences in breach of laws set out by parliament

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the big problem is the vast majority of people have bought into the idea that only police can enforce laws, anyone else is just a wannabe or Walt and is to be held up as a figure of ridicule

the reality is thousands of crimes and offences are detected and prosecuted every year without the police ever knowing about them, and some agencies have powers which the police don't have, don't know about or understand and in some cases can't have

Fraud is the major one that springs to mind, various others such as environmental crimes- maybe they're not sexy but they are offences in breach of laws set out by parliament

I think the public are aware that the HSE prosecute offences, the local council prosecute council tax evaders etc., the RSPCA prosecute individuals whom they believe to be cruel to animals - the list goes on.

Fraud is most certainly investigated and prosecuted by the police. I'm not sure why you'd think that the police don't have the power to deal with this? In fact the CoLP have the UK's largest fraud squad. If you're talking about insurance fraud investigators and the like they normally pass the evidence onto the police for consideration on whether there's sufficient evidence to prosecute (the police then pass this onto the CPS).

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no your misunderstanding what I'm saying of course the police deal with some fraud, but there is also a huge amount of fraud which other authorities detect and prosecute for without the police ever hearing of it

there are agencies with investigation, compliance,enforcement remit that some police officers have never heard of until asked to assist with an operation

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Parks constables, whilst employed by local authorities, largely do and should fulfil a peace preservation, security and law enforcement role.

Agree fully, I'm surprised more councils haven't picked up on this if I'm being honest.

I personally believe the public would prefer them to wardens, they could lawfully arrest persons as and when necessary, be trained and authorised to carry batons and generally not be a drain on local police resources.

I think it'd be a good idea for councils to follow this line of thinking rather then employing wardens who have no baking and very little powers to go about dealing with things.

Just my opinion.

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I personally believe the public would prefer them to wardens, they could lawfully arrest persons as and when necessary, be trained and authorised to carry batons and generally not be a drain on local police resources.

why couldn't there be a change in law allowing wardens,enforcement staff etc to have PPE

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why couldn't there be a change in law allowing wardens,enforcement staff etc to have PPE

There could be BUT... Why the need for wardens in the first place?

Provisions are already there, simply:

1. Ensure proper training is provided

2. IPCC regulation

3. Clear boundaries and an 'understanding' is put in place with the council and local police as to what they can and can't do.

4. Appropriate vetting on all recruits

Overall why not have these officers?

Specialist providing a key service that can attempt to deal with things when it's thrown their way.

I'd sooner see people take an oath of office before a magistrate, recieve appropriate training and provide an effective service to the public then arm unwarranted wardens.

Edited by Radman

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Provisions are already there, simply:

1. Ensure proper training is provided

2. IPCC regulation

3. Clear boundaries and an 'understanding' is put in place with the council and local police as to what they can and can't do.

4. Appropriate vetting on all recruits

Overall why not have these officers?

Apparently, Oxford University abolished its constabulary because of the cost of providing these things - so I wonder if that's what puts the parks off having police officers too.

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Apparently, Oxford University abolished its constabulary because of the cost of providing these things - so I wonder if that's what puts the parks off having police officers too.

If I remember rightly Oxford University Constabulary was more of a ceremonial body - the staff would've been paid a decent whack.

Local Authority Parks Constables are paid less then normal HO - inline with street Wardens.

Equipment would probably be costly - batons, handcuffs, uniform ect.

They wouldn't have the sane sort of employment conditions normal cops have either nor would they have the same sort of pension.

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