The rise of the glorified security stooge

Some scary abuse-of-power stuff here…

The Private Police State

Nope, it’s nothing to do with protesting in Parliament Square or marching through Westminster or taking photos of police snipers. It’s about transgressing the arbitrary social code of a bunch of third-party train ticket inspectors.

I hadn’t been aware of Rail Enforcement Officers until a couple of days before reading Sir Olly’s post. A gang of them (A gaggle of REOs? A superfluity of REOs?) got on my train en route from Epsom to Wimbledon.

I remember RPOs (Revenue Protection Officers) who used to do regular anti-fare-dodger campaigns at Sutton station during the school holidays, usually in tandem with the police, who would have their x-ray scanner to check for knives. However, the RPOs were always polite and stuck to their allotted task. This doesn’t appear to be the case with the REOs, who seem to revel in the same wildly random interpretation of their rights and duties as the PCSOs. No doubt we’ll be hearing more of them pretty soon.

As ever with this sort of thing, do please quote Olly’s article or retweet him on Twitter.

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