The Spectator

Barometer | 16 February 2017

Also in Barometer: Britain’s private police forces; how wrong is Wikipedia

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Special forces

British Transport Police, which is almost entirely funded by the rail industry, has 3,069 officers with similar powers to those of regular police.

The Civil Nuclear Constabulary, with 1,500 officers, secures nuclear power plants and the transport of nuclear materials around the country.

Cambridge University Proctors, who used their powers of arrest mostly to detain prostitutes and unruly students, gave up policing powers in 1970 and now perform more of a ceremonial role.

Oxford University Bulldogs kept their powers until 2001 but the force was disbanded two years later.

EU Plots


Italy 19.5
Spain 16.6
Poland 11.1
France 10.9
Romania 7.1
Germany 5.7
UK 5.4


Italy 17.3
Spain 38.8
Poland 10.4
France 5.1
Romania 4.5
Germany 1.7
UK 0.7

Private needs

Year Total
2011-12 232,350
2012-13 342,550
2013-14 352,350
2014-15 380,450
2015-16 410,800

Wrong move

Daily Mail

— A 2005 study in Nature compared it with the Encyclopedia Britannica and found that in 42 entries both had four serious errors. Wikipedia had 162 minor errors and Britannica 123.

— The Leveson Report misattributed the foundation of the Independent to a Californian student thanks to Wikipedia.

— For some time Wikipedia contained references to a bogus medical condition called glucojasinogen, which in turn came to be quoted in two learned journals.