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Scrap accredited persons under the Police Reform Act 2001.

Comment 1st July 2010

Withdraw the right of Chief Constables to appoint accredited persons under the Police Reform Act 2001.

The powers conferred upon them should only be available to police officers. If individuals such as security guards need the powers currently available to accredited persons they should call a police officer.

A Chief Constable may grant some or all of the following powers to an Accredited Person as part of a Community Safety Accreditation Scheme:[2]

    * The power to:
*require the name and address of a person who has committed a criminal offence that causes injury, alarm and distress to another person or damage or loss of another's property, or to whom a penalty notices has been issued;
*require the name and address of a person acting in an anti-social manner;
*require a person to stop drinking in a designated public place and confiscate and dispose of alcohol being consumed in a designated place;
*confiscate alcohol from young people;
*confiscate cigarettes and tobacco products from young people;
*require the removal of abandoned vehicles;
*stop cyclists if they are suspected of having committed the offence of riding on a footpath;
*stop a vehicle for the purposes of an inspection;
*control traffic for the purpose of escorting abnormal loads, for the purpose of conducting a traffic survey, and for other purposes
*require the name and address of a driver or pedestrian who fails to follow appropriate directions;
*photograph a person who has been given a penalty notice away from a police station.

    * The power to issue a fixed penalty notice:
*for riding a bicycle on footpath;
*for dog fouling;
*for littering;
*for graffiti and fly posting;
*to parents of truants.

    * The power to issue a penalty notice for disorder for:
*the sale of alcohol to person aged under 18;
*buying or attempting to buy alcohol for consumption by a person aged under 18;
*consumption of alcohol by a person aged under 18 or allowing such consumption;
*delivery of alcohol to a person aged under 18 or allowing such delivery;
*consumption of alcohol in a designated public space;
*possession by a person aged under 18 of an adult firework;
*possession of a some restricted fireworks;
*breach of a fireworks curfew;
*supply of excessively loud fireworks;
*throwing fireworks in a thoroughfare;
*wasting police time or giving a false report;
*using the telephones in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety;
*making hoax calls to the fire services;
*behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress;
*trespassing on a railway;
*throwing stones, etc. at trains or other things on railways.

 

Why does this matter?

It gives powers to people who may have motive other than that of upholding the law, for instance employers may introduce targets for their accredited persons, or an accredited person may fabricate evidence because they have a grudge against a person, e.g. when requiring  the name and address of a person acting in an anti-social manner, what constitutes an anti-social manner?

The powers to stop cyclists if they are suspected of having committed the offence of riding on a footpath, stop a vehicle for the purposes of an inspection,  control traffic for other purposes, is particularly worrying. It would be very easy for an impostor to pose as an accredited person to stop traffic for the purposes of sexual assault or stealing a vehicle as the uniform and identification documents for an accredited person are unknown to the public at large. For instance the Avon and Somerset Police do not publish details of the uniform or a sample ID document.  Other police forces define the uniform of that of the employer displaying the CSAS insignia.

Note a search of the home office site for CSAS insignia – did not match any documents and there is no image of the CSAS insignia so the public cannot know if an accredited person is genuine.

A Google search did not find any image of the CSAS insignia. The only mention of the CSAS insignia found was on the Cumbria police website.
 

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