The vigilantes will be uniformed and will patrol the council’s housing estates in pairs. They will be able to use their power of citizens arrest at people they find breaking the law on Sheffield Council property.
At first, the council admits, the vigilantes will only be patrolling the flat-blocks to try to stop vandals’ damage to the buildings.
But the Labour-leader of the council, Sir Ron, is a self-confessed supporter of the Festival of Light, the moral rearmament group run by Mrs Mary Whitehouse and Malcolm Muggeridge.
Sir Ron told the Workers Press: “What we are faced with – and this is on a national scale, not just in Sheffield is a breakdown in law and order. A loss of respect for your neighbour and his property. Something needs to be done.”
He has given his personal endorsement to the creation of a private police force within the 500,000 population city.
What should worry Sheffield’s gays is whether Sir Ron’s enthusiasm for Mary Whitehouse will encourage him to extend the power of the vigilantes to become moral police. Generally his support for Mrs Whitehouse’s campaign brooks no odds. You either lend your name or you do not – it’s quite simple.
The Festival of Light is known to be violently anti-gay. And gays in other cities should start worrying about when their seemingly benevolent councillors will start a private police force along Sir Ron’s lines.