Sir Ian Blair,
"That to me is the great nightmare. We have to have a position in which in public places - on behalf of the whole community, in what I would describe as a 'one-nation' view - the public police provide an equitable service to all."
That's the thing though. Not only that Blair is turning down the most (possibly only ?) chance for reinforcements - but the arguments used expose the other thing wrong with British policing. Sure, the thin blue line may have got just too thin, but people like Blair have loaded policing with political baggage. Instead of the simple matter of taking scum off the street, Blair and his ilk have reinvented policing as form of social engineering. That's why people turn to private security, not only because they can gurantee to be available, but also because they will actually patrol, rather than neglecting law enforcement in favour of reinventing Britain.