There is always a price to pay for rising crime rates and an over-stretched police force.
But rarely is it so clear what that cost is. Residents of an affluent suburb in Southampton have decided to pay £3.15 a week to fund a private security force to patrol the streets.
Hundreds of residents who have 'lost faith in the police force' have clubbed together to hire the private team of uniformed officers to protect them from crime in the area.
At your service: Atraks owner Dave MacLean (right) with colleague Marvin Olszewski, as they patrol the streets of Southampton. They were hired privately by residents in fear of crime
Security firm Atraks says its team will use the powers of citizen arrest as they patrol the leafy streets of Upper Shirley to 'prevent serious crime' and 'neutralise' threats.
Eight uniformed officers equipped with handcuffs and stab vests will even escort homeowners to and from the bank or on shopping trips to ensure they are not mugged.
So far 337 people have signed up in the neighbourhood while a further 1,700 have said they will join once they see the service in action.
The Atraks service - which is being tried out for free - costs £3.15 a week or residents can make an annual, one-off payment of £163.80.
Atraks needs 500 people to sign up to the scheme within a three-square-mile area for it to go ahead full time.
It is claimed all residents within this area would benefit from the scheme - not just those who had contributed to the cost.
Upper Shirley is one of the most affluent parts of Southampton but is close to a number of run-down areas.
On the beat: MacLean with fellow officer Keith Harding. Critics say the private security force scheme simply fuels fear of crime
One resident, Paul Graham, said he has agreed to pay for the scheme because he thinks the Atraks officers will prevent crime, rather than just respond to it.
The 28-year-old van driver said: 'It's not a lot of money to pay for having peace of mind. If someone is patrolling the streets at night then it's definitely going to stop some crime from taking place.
'We do see the police now and again around here but they are always busy with other things and don't have time to drive down every street.
'They will come if you call them but I think the Atraks scheme will be much more preventative.'
Another resident, an elderly woman who wished to remain anonymous, said: 'It is ludicrous that we pay our taxes and then have to pay again for a decent level of protection but I don't see any other option.'
Despite the widespread support, the scheme has come under fire from critics who say it will exaggerate the fear of violence.
But Dave MacLean, who launched Atraks two years ago, said he was acting after canvassing the opinions of local residents.
The 26-year-old former dog handler said: 'Most said they were fed up with the level of protection offered by the police and had lost faith. The police should be here to protect us and a company like ours shouldn't really be needed.'
Atraks officers will not have any powers other than those afforded to all citizens.
But Mr MacLean said his team of eight officers will talk to residents and be a visible presence on the streets to deter criminals.
They will also patrol outside schools, provide escorts to shops and banks, respond to alarms and help disperse street gangs. The service will involve dedicated patrols of officers trained in 'handcuffing, crime scene preservation, statement taking and firefighting'.
But local Labour MP Alan Whitehead criticised the scheme, saying it was 'based on exaggerating both a fear of crime and their own legal and practical powers in responding to concerns'.
He added: 'I remain of the view that a paid vigilante service is not the best way to ensure that our communities are kept safe.'