Stoke & Staffordshire

Ex-officers set up private police force in Stoke-on-Trent

Two former police officers are offering to provide a private police service in Stoke-On-Trent for £1 a week.

Stewart Brown and Stephen Rowney plan to patrol the Hartshill and Penkhull areas and report suspicious activity to Staffordshire Police.

The pair said the scheme was in response to police cuts.

Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis said he could not support a service that officers should already be providing.

'Private policing'

Former Hampshire officer Mr Rowney, 50, said: "What we can provide, hopefully, is a reassuring presence on the streets that can act as a deterrent to people from getting up to mischief, committing basic crimes against households like burglary."

"Because we are in the area we can respond a little bit quicker than the police, whose resources are stretched.

"What we do is make sure the house is safe and contact the police."

The officers will wear navy uniforms and provide residents prepared to pay their weekly fee an alarm linked to a patrol car.

But while Mr Ellis said the idea was "well intentioned" he said he could not back it.

"This is a bit close to private policing," he said.

"I think policing is something that needs to be in the public domain."

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