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Voluntair service in uk
In UK we also have voluntary police (they are called Police Specials and they work for no pay for the Special Constabulary.) They mainly help paid police officers or do traffic duties at events etc. They have been going for over 100 years.
We also now have Police Community Support Officers (PCSO's) who were launched about 3 years ago and they only get 3 weeks training and do restricted duties helping the community.
The government introduced them to get more police on the streets and at a lower cost. They can prosecute for minor offences and can detain a suspect until a real police officer arrives. The government are thinking about giving them more powers but the real police are not very happy about it as it is cheap labour.
Chris.