London-based academics are being offered the chance to combat campus crime by signing up as special constables.
In a new project called CampusWatch, the Metropolitan Police is encouraging academics, students and other university staff to don police uniforms and patrol the capital's university campuses.
Volunteers will receive training from the Met and spend eight hours a fortnight on patrol, vested with the same powers as full-time police officers - including the power of arrest.
Neil Barrett, head of employer support services at the Metropolitan Police, denied that the initiative reflected a significant rise in crime on campus.
He called it a "proactive rather than a reactive measure".
He added: "Academic staff have just the right qualities for patrol officers - they are committed, they have the right attitude and a good work ethic."