It looks as if ol' Big Ears is serious about merging forces with less than two thousand pairs of boots to parade. Long overdue in my opinion. I view the present structure to be an anachronistic relic of Victorian organisation - the large metro überforces not withstanding. It's also nice to see another organisation having the sword of reform hanging over it for a change. The advance of technology has pretty much rendered the original raison d'être of small county constabularies obsolete. Is the UK big enough to warrant forty-odd forces? I also think that the Special Constabulary is well past its bedtime and is in need of a total overhaul. SCs should be paid the same rate as their regular counterparts for duties carried out. Again, technology could be better used to enable SCs to log on duty at any point they have sufficient spare time that could be better used for the benefit of policing. Afternoon off work? Go home, don uniform, and wander around a housing estate for a couple of hours. Could the solution to visible policing and combating regular officer overstretch be this simple? I think that the SCs are a totally wasted asset. Better used and motivated, there would be no need for CSOs. How can reserve service personnel receive pay, yet SCs only receive home to duty allowance? I must point out that I'm not a SC. However, if the organisation were to be overhauled and specials were to be paid as per their reserve forces counterparts, then I might reconsider. I wouldn't want to be utilised for bloody footie matches every Saturday though (I'd simply ban it). I might be talking through my arrse here, but I'd be interested in the viewpoint of others - especially if they're serving Bill - part-time or otherwise.