London, July 27 (ANI): British Prime Minister David Cameron has outlined the detail of the so-called "big society in action" plan to appeal to the public to take part in "do-it-yourself" policing and perhaps even go on patrol with uniformed officers, in an attempt to answer the police budget cuts.
"Neighbourhood policing is key to David Cameron's "big society ... we want more active citizens taking part in joint patrols with the police, looking out for their neighbours and passing on safety tips as part of neighbourhood watch groups or as community crime fighters," The Guardian quoted the Home Office consultation paper, which has been published today, as saying.
It also says that each of the 43 police forces in England and Wales will elect the new commissioners who will replace existing police authorities every four years, starting in May 2012, for a maximum of two terms.
Meanwhile, the Association of Chief Police Officers greeted the proposals very cautiously saying they had to be examined in detail to see how they could "maintain operational independence against the practical reality of directly-elected police and crime commissioners."
Cameron's announcement has come amid widespread expectation that the 25 percent departmental budget cuts outlined in the emergency Budget will lead to a fall in the number of police officers in England and Wales.
The consultation paper published by the home secretary, Theresa May, have revealed that she wants to explore new ideas including creating a reserve army of volunteers prepared to act as community crime fighters along similar lines to fire reservists who help staff some neighbourhood fire stations. (ANI)