Meet UK's first 'private police force' with a 100 percent conviction rate
The company's aim is that law enforcement outsources their patrols to the firm in case they are short-handed, and ultimately treat them as a private back-up.
TM Eye, a firm incorporated by former senior officers from Scotland Yard, has prosecuted over 400 criminals and is now also responding to murder calls.
The UK's first "private police force" has a 100 percent conviction rate and is regarded to compete with RSPCA in bringing in more private prosecutions, the Daily Mail reported.
According to the report, TM Eye is filling in the void in law enforcement in which hundreds of crime cases are left unattended due to the regular caseload of state officers.
It can be easily touted as the country's first de-facto private police force which has come to the fore considering the alarming rise in crime rates and compromises in the budget alloted for law enforcement.
TM Eye offers a service called "My Local Bobby" which charges high net-worth residents up to £200 a month to guard and patrol their affluent neighborhoods.
My Local Bobby: meet the brave new world of elite law enforcement https://t.co/Mh0dKfnqyv— TM-Eye (@tmeyeuk) 2 February 2018
Among others, the company has taken care of three high-profile murder cases that were not closed by the police. These include a case where cover-ups and accusations of corruption had let to a deadend.
TM Eye has also offered its hand in cases of missing persons, theft, rape, stalking, blackmail and burglary.
The police company's co-founder Tony Nash, who is a former Metro Police commander, said, "This is going back to Dixon of Dock Green to a degree. It’s what people want."
"There is no substitute for going out and knocking on doors. But with the current state of finances, police are solving cases behind their desks and that has become the culture."
Interestingly, more than 43 criminal offenders were jailed and more than 403 criminals were successfully prosecuted for cases of intellectual property theft, fraud and various other offences, in the last two years of their service.
TM Eye is a blessing in disguise for retired cyber-crime experts as well as detectives who were out of work after leaving Scotland Yard. Their workforce also includes veterans from GCHQ and the National Crime agency.
At a time when there is a serious financial crisis in the police department, overworked officers have complained that they do not have the resources to cater to high volume but minor crimes such as shoplifting.
Having said that, some critics have raised concerns over the concept of private police force, which could result in a multi-tier law enforcement system where only the privileged classes could obtain justice and protection from criminals.
Ken Marsh, who is the Metro Police Federation chairman, has said that the increase in employment of private officers is a slap in the face of the government for not sufficiently providing funds to the police to enforce the law.
"Eventually there will be a two-tier system with the haves and the have-nots, and if you have money and live in a £20million house in Chelsea you can pay for private security," he said.
"My concern would be, where is the public scrutiny if it goes wrong? If they are allowed to go and do police’s job for them, that is a dangerous status quo."
According to recent police statistics, crime is at an all time high, with increasing levels of violence consitituting knife and gun offences, sex crimes and more.
Business is a-booming for the private police force which has about 36 criminal cases pending at magistrates' courts in the country and they are currently working on over 60 investigations in important cities of London, Essex, Somerset, Avon, Dorset and Cheshire.
TM Eye was able to convict 60 offenders in Manchester pursuing a business selling counterfeit clothing and handbags. They are better equipped than the state police and are using advanced covert surveillance techniques coupled with expert undercover operatives to tackle such cases.
They also contribute to the Police National Computer by providing the suspects' DNA and fingerprints to be recorded for future reference.
The company does not charge for investigations conducted by them and instead reimburses costs from the courts after convictions are meted out.
TM Eye has a worldwide presence with offices in London, Essex, Manchester and also Mumbai in India, where the firm was able to nab a criminal running a huge raquet manufacturing fake medicines.
The "My local Bobby" subscription service is a hit in coveted neighborhoods of London such as Mayfair, Belgravia and Kensington.
Clients paying premium amounts for the service also get a "meet-and-greet" service from their cars or the Tube.
TM Eye guarantees that if there is a distress call, a local response officer will be available on the scene within a short span of 5 minutes.
Patrol teams are equipped with body cameras which help them save evidence in real-time.
Nash's aim for the company is that law enforcement outsources their patrols to the firm in case they are short-handed, and ultimately treat them as a private back-up.
They also provide standard security services for important foreign expats or diplomats.
David Mckelvey, managing director of TM Eye and a former Scotland Yard chief inspector, says, "We probably do more undercover work than any other law enforcement agency. We have a better surveillance capability and equipment than most forces."
He added: "It’s about catching the bad guys and protecting the public, and we can help with that.
"Police are on their knees, sick to the teeth with what is going on in their job. The bottom line is we have better uniforms, better pay and better support at work. It’s a huge growth industry."
The former advisor to the government and part of Civitas, an independent think tank, commented:
"This seems a reflection of the fact that the police are overstretched, underfunded and unable to cope and this group has emerged to fill the gap. There is nothing wrong with private security or private patrols."
"But if they take on some of the functions of the police and the call for this grows, there is a danger there is not the same safeguards that we have with the police," he said.
He also added, "If the police do something wrong there is a clear disciplinary structure, a chain of accountability and independent scrutiny. If these private firms exercise police powers without public accountability, there could be dangers there."
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