SCORES of front line council staff could be given policing powers in a bid to fill the gap that will be left by policing budget cuts.
The council has revealed this week that it is considering taking part in the national Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) where anyone from a dog warden to a traffic warden could be given powers to issue fines up to the value of £80.
They would be looking to issue fines for misdemeanours like dog fouling, graffiti and dropping litter and would also be entitled to take people’s names and addresses and seize alcohol from under-age drinkers. Although it would be an offence to refuse their demands, they would have no power to detain or arrest people and must call in police for help if they suspect someone of a criminal offence.
A council spokesman said: "We are considering accreditation across the council and police specific to Barnsley.
"This would allow lower level powers afforded to each organisation (litter, dog fouling, graffiti, low level public disorder and parking enforcement) to be shared across frontline enforcement officers who already work together to address anti social behaviour but are restricted as to the breadth of their powers.
"The approach is being considered in response to both heightened public demand for the council and police to improve their low level enforcement services locally and in response to significant cuts in capacity across the two organisations."
Under the scheme, employees for the council would be accredited by local police. It is thought the initiative would allow accredited staff to deal with low level disorder, allowing the police to respond to more serious crimes.
What do you think? Get your questions and comments on the proposals seen by the council. Paul Brannan - the assistant director of community services - will be appearing on We Are Barnsley radio tomorrow (Friday) from 11am. You can submit questions here.