Thousands of civilians granted power to issue fines
A growing number of civilians are being granted police-style powers allowing them to issue fines and demand personal details from the public.
More than 2,200 workers including council wardens, security guards and countryside rangers are being given the powers, through which they can levy fines of up to £80.
The so-called Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) was derided by senior Tories when in opposition, but the number of people empowered by the scheme has swollen by a third in the past year.
Police and civil liberties campaigners have raised concerns over the accountability of civilians signed up to the scheme and the advance of Britain's surveillance state.
Simon Reed, vice chairman of the Police Federation, said: “I’m sure that the public would have huge concerns knowing that we have people walking around in this pseudo-enforcement role without proper accountability and legitimacy.”
Under the scheme, councils, NHS trusts and private sector companies can pay a fee of a few hundred pounds for Home Office accreditation via their local police force.