More flak aimed at the police community support officer (PCSOs) as two community officers watched while a 55-year-old man was attacked by three teenage girls. The attack took place at Ravensbury Park near Morden.
The pair of PCSOs allegedly hid behind a tree while passer-by Ann Ward, a 59-year-old great-grandmother, came to the man’s rescue. The officers, who radioed for help told Mrs Ward they were there to “report crimes and take notes". There's no word yet on the calibre of the community officers' note-taking skills; however, another witness filed a complaint with Scotland Yard about their inaction, saying that they failed to call for help until prodded by witnesses. The PCSOs claim they called as soon as they knew there was a problem.
The charming teenagers who attacked the man were arrested and are due in court in December.
PCSOs are meant to put more uniformed bodies on the streets and lend a sense of security while diffusing ‘antisocial’ situations. However, with less training than police officers and the inability to make arrests, the so-called ‘plastic bobbies’ are rather limited in how they can help the community. The Met spent more than £3 million on recruiting support officers last year.
By Amanda Farah