Two former Metropolitan Police Officers are forming their own private police force, available for hire in the exclusive areas of Knightsbridge, Mayfair and Belgravia in London.
Tony Nash and David McKelvey's My Local Bobby (MLB) business is the first of its kind, aiming to uncover crimes and potentially bring about private prosecutions where the Met fail to do so.
Nash and McKelvey have almost 60 years of policing experience between them, policing London's streets, with Nash heading up policing in the London Borough of Newham as the borough commander, and McKelvey serving as a detective chief inspector.
Nash retired from the force last week, according to The Times, though McKelvey stepped down in 2010, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Since leaving the Met, McKelvey has run his own private firm TM Eye which tackles counterfeiting in the luxury brand market and undertakes private criminal prosecutions for clients.
Prior to his departure from the Met, McKelvey was also involved in a corruption case against the Met as a whistleblower.
However, controversially, despite both now having retired from the force, The Sunday Times claims the pair have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Met that would allow them access to criminal records of offenders against whom prosecutions are brought.
When contacted by IBTimes UK on Sunday (5 March), a spokesperson for the Met said though they believed any access would be a matter for the Home Office to respond to, and they were unable to respond to questions about the level of access that would be made available to the business.
MLB will deploy retired policemen to the streets of London's richest areas with bodycams and GPS trackers, attempting to uncover crimes which they would then alert police to or make citizen's arrests. Where the Crown Prosecution Service do not investigate offences or press charges, MLB will look to investigate and bring private prosecutions.
The news follows a damning report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of the Constabulary earlier in the week that concluded a lack of detectives and investigators was becoming a "national crisis" in the UK. Last year the Met was also criticised for failing to protect vulnerable children thanks to problems in the system.
However, a Home Office Spokesman told the Mail Online: 'The public should also be in no doubt that the Metropolitan Police has the resources its needs to police London – there is more funding per head of population than anywhere else in the country. It is ultimately for Chief Officers and Police and Crime Commissioners to make decisions about the size and composition of police forces.'