Cash-strapped cops seek car washers and boot sale spies
A police force has advertised for volunteers to help clean its fleet of patrol cars and visit boot sales to look for stolen goods.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary put the appeals for a "property recovery volunteer" and "vehicle tasking volunteer" on its website this week.
The move comes as the force attempted make budget cuts of up to £16.5 million over the last four years and follows the introduction of a trial scheme to interview victims of crime on Skype instead of visiting their home.
Applicants for the vehicle tasking role should expect to work up to four hours a week, have "k nowledge of basic vehicle maintenance" and be able to " act on (their) own initiative".
Those interested in property recovery will be expected to have an "inquisitive nature", produce reports for officers and visit car boot sales, pawn shops and antique dealers to "locate outstanding stolen property".
Of the role's purpose, the job description said: "To provide an enhanced capability for local officers to locate and recover stolen property. You will routinely visit local car boot sales, antique dealers and various pawn shops to attempt to locate stolen items. This will reunite victims with their missing items, increase forensic opportunities and provide valuable intelligence to the Constabulary ."
A force spokesman told the Times: "Volunteers are a vital part of the force, particularly as we continue to face financial challenges. All volunteers are vetted in the same way a paid member of staff is - however the difference is that it is not mandatory for our volunteers to have experience in the field they work for us.
"We provide them with all the necessary training and development."