Municipal inspectors in Tel Aviv have been equipped with handcuffs and are being allowed to arrest and cuff errant citizens, despite national laws that only police are authorized to do so, reports the Hebrew weekly Yediot Tel Aviv. The move marks the latest step in the city's attempt to "turn inspectors into municipal police," the newspaper said. According to the report, offending residents who think the worst city inspectors can do is issue them with fines or tow away their cars may be in for a shock. City inspectors have recently been equipped with handcuffs in a move the city is justifying as "helping the police force, which is collapsing under its workload." The report said the main problem with this reasoning is that only police, who have undergone special training, are legally authorized to arrest people. It also said that while the city and police run several joint projects, in these inspectors are supposed to act as assistants to police, not replace them. A municipal spokesman said that some inspectors had been issued with handcuffs and even with weapons as part of their work in assisting police. The spokesman said inspectors could take on the powers of police if a crime had occurred and a suspect refused to identify himself.