Having read and re-read Cllr. Granville Bantick’s Rye View in the Rye Observer (29 August 2014) headed ‘An alternative to traffic wardens’ I had to pinch myself to ensure that I was reading a serious suggestion.
Once upon a time there were Police Constables patrolling the streets of our towns to maintain law and order (I was one of them), to assist them were Special Constables, members of the public who gave their time freely both for training and assisting at special events and busy periods. Then along came Traffic Wardens whose main task was to keep the traffic moving by enforcing parking regulations. All three of these bodies appear have now disappeared from public view to be replaced by Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) whose proclaimed purpose in life was to be a visible uniformed Police presence and to deal with low-level crime and anti-social behaviour. They too have acquired the ability to become invisible.
Cllr. Bantick reports that he met Chief Inspector Warren Franklin who suggested that Rye Town Council could employ a Community Warden who would wear a uniform to denote their authority. What authority would that be? This could be a job a retired person might want to take on ‘to earn a little extra money’ and carry out the tasks that PCSOs were supposedly recruited to perform, in order to free up regular police for other more onerous duties.
At this rate of decline there will be no visible Police presence in Sussex. ‘The Job’ as it is known by all those who served in Police forces throughout the country, apparently can now be carried out by pensioners or most likely, people on their day off.
It is no wonder that the criminal element are able to go about their nefarious business without let or hindrance whilst basically honest, law abiding tax payers wonder what their money is being spent on. I despair!