Some Officers of Their Own


The citizens of a housing estate in Darlington, U.K., try a private solution to crime:

For longer than they can remember, the law-abiding residents of Skerne Park have been plagued by teenage thugs….Now the residents are hitting back by employing a 'private police force'.

They are paying £3.50 a week each for patrolling teams of wardens equipped with head cameras and wearing high-visibility uniform.

They will react to calls as well as monitoring the estate by car. So far more than 300 residents have backed the scheme.

The patrols, which will begin on Monday, were devised by former boxer 'Fearless' Francis Jones, 28….Mr Jones and his wardens have no powers of arrest, but he said: 'I'm looking to deal with problems not by getting people's backs up, but by defusing the situation.

'We hope the service will give our clients more confidence by increasing their safety, even if it is just a case of walking them to the shops.'