It's the panacea Wisconsin has been pining for. Really Great Britain has come up with THE answer to unemployment, and the budget crisis.
It's an answer Charles Dickens would have applauded. It corroborates so thoroughly his many observations of human nature.
No money to pay for cops? Obviously, then- you should enlist people willing to work, as police- for free. (oh, and, town clerks, postal workers, whatever...)
Ok, actually, the "volunteers" do have some incentive to show up for work. The way they have this rigged, if you want to work as a paid police person someday - then :
"Cash-strapped Scotland Yard, for instance, has instituted a policy mandating that most recruits spend a minimum of one year on the job for free..."
The mind boggles. Really really boggles.
Never mind the obvious fact that "cash strapped Scotland Yard" could have its budget entirely restored by the confiscation of ONE hedge fund manager's annual "bonus"... ("Look, Basil, I've got the little monkeys chanting 'No new taxes! No new taxes!' You've really got to help me look through Machiavelli and see what else we can find!")
I wonders, I does - just how much do you suppose you'd have to bribe an unpaid cop, to look the other way for a few moments?
And I wonders, too - who is going to pay the hospital (or burial) costs, when one of these unpaid volunteers gets themselves hurt in the line of "duty"?
And how dutiful do you think they'll be, on a nasty windy cold night?
And how likely to reach for the gasoline, when after volunteering for "at least a year" - they don't get the real job, after all?
Really Great, Britain.
Tiny minor update: Minnesota, home of politics as gallows humor, has just provided us with a good specific example of what happens to un-employed wanna-be law officers.