So we have this new sort of Plod, the police community service officer. No powers of arrest, not allowed to interviewpeople: they are there to provide a uniformed body on the streets. So given that they don\’t actually solve crimes, catch crooks, you\’d like to think that they do the \”community\” part of policing, yes? Helping old ladies across the road, taking lost children home…hey, how about helping some kid drowning in a pond? Community enough?
A police leader has called community support officers a \”failed experiment\” which should be abandoned, after it emerged that two PCSOs stood by as a boy drowned because they were not trained to carry out water rescues.
Jordon jumped into the water to save his eight-year-old stepsister at a local beauty spot in May this year. Mrs Lyon said: \”If you\’re walking down the street and you see a child drowning, you automatically go in that water.\”
Well, yes, I\’d say that would be the appropriate reaction of any adult to the sight of a drowning child. Whether that adult is trained or in uniform or not. In other news, the basic pay for a PCSO is £16,000 plus paid overtime etc.
Am I being too demanding in thinking that at that price we should be employing men, not mice?
Vicki Woods is on the subject today:
A \”police presence\” is not the same as policing. And PCSOs are not the same as police officers, as reports about the inquest into the death of a 10-year-old boy in Wigan showed. Jordon Lyon was playing near a pond with his sister and both got into difficulties. A 999 call fetched two PCSOs to the scene, where people were shrieking for help as the children floundered. Two fishermen, aged 63 and 66, flung themselves into the pond and managed to rescue the girl, but the two PCSOs stood faffing about on the edge.
When a regular police sergeant arrived minutes later, he dived into the pond and pulled Jordon from the water, but he could not be resuscitated. The inquest was told: \”PCSOs are not trained to deal with major incidents such as this.\”
Oh, really? Neither are a couple of fishermen aged 63 and 66, but they had a go.