Private guards for crime scenes

PUBLISHED: 08:08 31 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:39 25 May 2010

PRIVATE security guards are being paid to patrol major crime scenes to free up police officers' time.

PRIVATE security guards are being paid to patrol major crime scenes to free up police officers' time.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary had forked out more than £20,000 by November to private firm Reliance Security to take on the role.

The idea is a six-month test which began in August, with a view to implementing the idea on a long-term basis.

It is a system which has already been used in Weston, with Reliance guards contracted to secure a murder scene in Ashcombe Road in September.

A police spokesman said: "All the staff have been vetted to make sure they do not pose an integrity of honesty threat to policing. Additionally, all have been trained over a week-long course.

"The course covered investigative processes, the reasons for guarding, the working practices employed by the constabulary, the powers required in the event of problems, dealing with information received and providing a good service to members of the public whom they meet.

"They have no additional powers but have ready access to police resources should powers be required.

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