News that many police officers in the UK have to take on secondary jobs has led to further announcements by Tony Blair in Parliament.
"I have given Home Secretary Charles Clarke carte blanche to get things moving. We cannot have vehicles standing idle while officers are having tea breaks, filling in forms, or being off sick.
"The vehicles can earn us money, which can be added to the millions gleaned from speeding motorists," he announced during Prime Minister's question time yesterday. "Not that the man on the beat will see any benefit, of course," he was then heard to whisper.
The new government initiatives have recently been put into operation and they are currently making their presence felt in many small towns.
As from 1st February, all new road traffic patrol cars have to be available for multi-tasking. This will lead to police cars with a new appearance. Gone are the traditional "jam sandwich" stripes along the side, now replaced by new sponsored artwork.
As well as spending time patrolling local roads to make them safer, the cars are to become available to driver learning schools, taxi companies, and pizza delivery concerns.
One local police inspector commented: "The cars will have to conform to a strict time-table so that they are not being used for two tasks simultaneously.
"Only officers with the relevant experience will take on primary policing tasks.
"It is obvious that we cannot have the situation of a highly trained police officer delivering pizzas. Neither do we wish to have pizza delivery staff apprehending drivers who are parking illegally. We're supposed to do that!" he claimed. "Local drug dealers and murderers will welcome the new initiative," he added.
One officer, who asked to remain anonymous, said he was worried about teaching youngsters how to drive to the limit of the vehicle and then having to arrest them for "speeding" while in his car. He also said he was unsure about speeding while delivering pizzas.
"I am waiting for definitive guidelines from the officers who wrote the programme," he commented. "I fear that it will be left to the British bobby to sort it out for himself," he concluded.