A report claims "have-a-go heroes" should be trained by police on how to confront anti-social behaviour and deal with aggression and conflict.
According to the Royal Society of Arts, a radical new approach to tackling anti-social behaviour is needed.
It said training should include self-protection and restraint, how to read a situation to appraise when it is appropriate to intervene or when to call the police, and skills in conflict resolution.
The report's authout, Ben Rogers, said: "With the real prospect of traditional police patrolling being scaled back, now is surely the time to focus seriously on agreeing the core skills that active citizens need, individually or collectively, if they're to step up to the mark."
Police officers should provide training for frontline public servants including park keepers, public transport workers, street cleaners, parking enforcement officers, caretakers, teachers and other school staff, he said.
The report, First Aid Approaches To Managing Anti-Social Behaviour, also said training could be given to people who are "potentially influential within their communities", such as shop-keepers, publicans and postal workers.