A police force is hiring out uniformed officers to businesses wanting more patrols.
Traders have joined together to pay for extra police to look over their premises.
But critics claim the rent-a-cop plan is a move towards a two-tier service.
Police Federation spokesman Metin Enver said: "It's a worrying trend to get groups effectively buying policing.
"Is this a stepping stone to a two-tier policy so those who can afford it get one service and those who can't get another?"
And Mr Metin said of Hertfordshire Police's initiative: "This is a dangerous path. You can imagine a ripple effect as more people ask for extra patrols."
There are a number of issues with the above that raise concerns. First as tax payers we have already paid for a police service. So quite why we should have to pay again is beyond me.
However more worrying is the mixing of business and state. We should all be deeply concerned and suspicious of business being allowed to purchase and deploy the resources of the state. Because ultimately it gives businesses power they would not normally have.
For me this seems to be another sign of the development of the fascist/corporatist state in Britain. And we should all be concerned by it.