Friday, September 21, 2007

The Consequences of Letting Procedure Rule

The tragic story of the ten year old boy Jordon Lyon from Wigan, who drowned while two Police Community Support Officers looked on (details HERE), highlights one of two things. Either these two people were complete cowards, or they were so concerned about following 'procedure' that their common sense deserted them. This was the response of Detective Chief Inspector Phil Owen, of Wigan CID, who led the investigation into Jordon's death...
PCSOs are not trained to deal with major incidents such as this. Both ourselves and the fire brigade regularly warn the public of the dangers of going into unknown stretches of water so it would have been inappropriate for PCSOs, who are not trained in water rescue, to enter the pond.
This man is not fit to hold his office. It's got nothing to do with procedure. It's about doing what is right. It was a pond, for God's sake, not some deep river. I'll leave the last word to Jordon's father.
If you're walking down the street and you see a child drowning you automatically go in that water. You don't care if you're going to lose your job or not, you don't care do you. I want them to be named. I want to know why they didn't go in, I want to know why they weren't at the inquest when I had to turn up there, and go through the pain of it all. I want to know why they didn't have to be there as main witnesses. They should have to be there. They shouldn't have a job.

I find it hard to disagree.

UPDATE: To those who wonder whether the PCSOs could swim, the BBC say the pond is 6 feet deep.

75 comments:

Man in a Shed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kris said...

Sorry Iain. but it's the issue I pose to my little LL.B.s every year when illustrating the concept of Duty to Act.

Unattractive as it is, there is no duty to act. While many of us would, once a duty to act is adopted, one better hope they get it right- or then you really will be on the hook.

Even morally, we don't know the whole story. One wonders if the PCSOs knew how to swim? I'm sure more will be revealed, but in the meantime, and before you start calling for people's heads, revisit the law re duty to act. It certainly isn't a labour creation.

dizzy said...

"If you're walking down the street and you see a child drowning you automatically go in that water. You don't care if you're going to lose your job or not, you don't care do you."


On the money. Unless of course neither of them could actually swim. Strange no one has asked that.

Iain Dale said...

Kris, it's got nothing to do with duty to act- it's about reacting like a normal human being when you see a ten year old drowning.

Could they swim? We don't know because they didn't attend the inquest to answer questions. That probably speaks volumes.

Anonymous said...

This is simplistic nonsense.

There is very clear advice from the authorities about how to deal with a potential drowning, and the last thing one should do is dive in.

The advice is

REACH
THROW
ROW
GO

People like Matthew Parris have been 'brave' - in his case to save a drowning dog. But sadly the fact is that people who just dive often aren't able to save the person, and end up drowning themselves.

Of course I agree that PCSOs are a complete waste of space as they have no police training and are, in effect, just glorified traffic wardens.

But blaming them for staying alive seems harsh and unreasonable to me.

Sure the father is pissed off - but maybe if he took better care of his children his son might still be alive to day.

Kris said...

Iain,

Whether you or I would jump in and have a go is another matter. I would volunteer to adopt a duty to the kid- without question.

My point is, there is nothing in law requiring anyone to do so. The even more important point is once you adopt a duty towards someone else, you'd better not mess it up.

So perhaps not as cut and dried as we'd like.

Newmania said...

Cassilis blogged this and I have already commented

This is the sort of slave morality Brown wishes us all to have. The state always ends up attacking natural human feeling in the end. Where is the place for compassion when you have no free choices left ? Why sacrifice when infantile fecklessness pays better? As we drift passively into the post democratic age our lives will become even more a set of rules queues and battery chicken needs . Why would anyone help his brother when we are nothing more than atomised units of production in their foul Marxist scheme.This is the sort of person our Brave new World will suit admirably.
. Winston Smith saw that the State had finally entered his soul. In the end that's what they want and this is what you will get.

A Country with no soul and people who will let there children die until the proper training is available.

antifrank said...

I was taught at school that the preferred means of saving someone in water are (in order) "reach, throw, wade, row". Which I find is still around, see for example:

http://www.watersportswales.co.uk/safety1.HTM

No mention of swimming at all. So these two should have been able to do something, surely? Standing and doing nothing is just disgraceful, and how these two can look at themselves in the mirror in the morning is beyond me.

Kafka said...

There's a 1 in 4 chance that neither could swim; something that surely would have been remarked on at an inquest if it were so. Therefore, recue is just one more action that a PCSO can't do. They are simply window -dressing; spin made flesh.

chatterbox said...

Why the hell weren't they at the inquest????
Well now you have it, we have the public putting their lives at risk with often tragic consequences in today's Britain. But the thought that someone supposedly paid to help and protect the public would stand by in these circumstances is beyond belief.
Just how many of these community officers do we have now and how much do they cost?
As far as I can see this has got to the biggest con trick every played by Labour, using taxpayers money to provide an impression of more police on the beat is dishonest. The fact that they are needed because real bobbies are back at the station doing paperwork is beyond parody. Still with this government we get what we deserve and what we voted for!!

FjmS said...

I'm not sure I entirely agree with you here Iain. Not knowing the water concerned makes it hard to comment but the first rule of lifesaving in water is that the most important life to save is your own. Diving in to the water is absolutely the last resort and only then if you are sure it's safe.
Without knowing the stretch of water concerned I don't think you can pass judgement.

Letters From A Tory said...

I know where you are coming from Iain, but until we all visit the scene where it happened and get to know the people involved I refuse to judge their actions.

Anonymous said...

Bloody cowards. Who cares if you could swim or not. It's a bloody pond. Bet these guys were a damn sight taller than the 10 year old.

Why couldn't they wade in, at least try. Pass the kid a branch, anything...

Can't imagine what it is like to watch a child drown. Let's hope I never have to find out.

verity said...

I would like the two worthless pieces of crap dressed up in human uniforms to die of drowning while other people look on.

You can tell Detective Chief Inspector (what a grand title for such a tiny spirit) is a jobsworth because they always talk like this:"Both ourselves and the fire brigade ..."

Both ourselves? What kind of lunatic pretentious language is this? What is wrong with the proper usage "Both we and the ..."? Self-important ignorant seat-warmer.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

What was the coroner doing? Why weren't the eye witnesses summonsed to give evidence?

Harry Flashman said...

Perhaps they couldn't swim ? I would make a rule that all police officers should be able to swim 100m minimum and be trained in lifesaving - common sense.

Tory Radio said...

Iain - exactly right - it's nothing to do with duty - it's about being a member of the human race! As Dizzy points out - perhaps both of them could not swim - however at this stage that does seem unlikely. Listening on the radio to the excuse of CSO's effectively having little more training than members of the publis is neither here no there.

anthonynorth said...

If you're human, thought doesn't come into it, so duty, 'can I swim', etc, is pointless. You act, or you freeze. The chances of two people freezing are unlikely.
Is this the future? No humanity?

Rickytshirt said...

What's harder, getting in the water or watching a kid die? It's not really a choice to most able bodied people. My Uncle and his colleague saved a drowning man from a dock and thought nothing of it as he was just doing his duty as police office. We expect a lot from our policemen & women but the excuse provided by the PCSO's is just pathetic. I would think that they would find it hard to continue in their profession as they will be looked down upon by their colleagues as selfish and cowardly. I hope they regret their decision.

Colin said...

Kris, your reliance on the concept of 'duty to act' is a potent illustration of why most normal mortals hold lawyers in such contempt. Your 'little LLBs' start off as sentient human beings: if through your legal education process they end up spouting such pompous claptrap then shame on you. Above all, people including lawyers and PCSOs need to be able to distinguish when it is appropriate to stand on one's dignity, legal or otherwise, and when it is best to get stuck in and sort out the 'procedures' afterwards.

Anonymous said...

Iain, have you actually seen this 'pond' ? It is better described as a lake.

The impression given here is that 'nobody did nuffin guv'. Wrong.

Bystanders saved the life of the girl who had fallen in. The boy who died drowned after jumping in after her.

This is exactly the point - panic reaction and jumping in often leads to death.

The mother [understandably upset ] said words to the effect that 'You would jump in - you wouldn't care if you drowned'. Well one can see her point, but a dead person is not really going to be able to save a drowning child.

And the facts [yes, useful things facts] are that the boy was under the water by the time the PCSOs turned up. It is very easy to get all tabloid about this, wanting to 'name and shame' so that surprise, surprise, people go and throw stones through the individual's houses.

But a better response would be to ensure one can swim strongly and sign up for some life saving classes. Everything else one can save for some Daily Mail style ranting down the pub after five pints of beer on Friday night.

Anonymous said...

A witness cannot be compelled to give evidence to a coroners court (inquest).

As regards the pcso peeople. You get what you pay for. A police officer would have went in. That is their mentality, save life.

Anonymous said...

Let's assume the two plodettes could not swim.


What kind of police force sends out two non-swimmers to patrol an area where there is deep water?

Hughes Views said...

So it's not only your leader who's reached the 'leaping onto populist-sounding bandwagons' then?

Even after your little holiday, can't you do any better than this bit of tabloidesque self-righteous moral outrage over a family's tragedy about which you know hardly any of the story?

Chuck Unsworth said...

So these morons stood and watched a child drown, eh? Disgusting and outrageous.

You can bet large money that they'll be promoted shortly, though. Isn't that standard procedure after a child's death?

And Anon 4:12 PM "And the facts [yes, useful things facts] are that the boy was under the water by the time the PCSOs turned up"

So that's all right, they can just assume that the child is dead, then, and leave it to someone else to sort out.

NewWelshRight said...

When people are PREVENTED from intervening in an emergency to save a life BECAUSE they are keepers of the peace and officers of the law then it is clear that something has gone monumentally wrong.

This case poses two important questions. How are we ever to take PCSOs seriously ever again and not think of them as glorified traffic wardens AND exactly how bad are the PCSO recruitment checks that these two thick, cowardly pillocks were given jobs and uniforms (if not proper equipment, a car, a truncheon or better-than-knucklehead training)?

Were these officers picked out of the line at the job centre?

Iain Dale said...

Hughes Views, you have taken on the matle of this blog's resident Labour troll. You cannot ever find anything positive to say. I know enough about this to pass an opinion as a human being. Child in pond. Child is drowning. Human response is to jump in to save the child. Robot's response is to do nothing. Obviously you fall in the latetr category.

Kris said...

"Kris, your reliance on the concept of 'duty to act' is a potent illustration of why most normal mortals hold lawyers in such contempt".

Why, because they take the trouble to learn the law and think for themselves?

Anonymous said...

As far as I know it is a basic recruitment requirement for all police officers to be able to swim to a certain standard but I'm not sure that is for PCSO's as the recruitment standards are lower and basically they are "community wardens" in uniform with an important sounding title, a uniform and radio - the ultimate con being that the government has got the public to think of them as "police officers" when they're clearly not.

However if you take on the role of PCSO you have to be prepared to act in certain circumstances to try and save life but whilst there is a duty on a police officer to do so there is no duty on the part of a PCSO and their training advises them not to put themselves at unnecessary risk but in those circumstances call for assistant from a police officer

As regards the depth of water being only 6ft - if you're a non swimmer and tried to wade in it would be over your head so given the above and if the 2 PCSO's were non-swimmers it's not surprising that they did what they did.Unfortunately as they weren't asked to attend the inquest these questions couldn't be put to them and that's what people should be concentrating on to discover whether it was the recruitment, training and support system rather than just solely blame the 2 PCSOs for the boy's death

Anonymous said...

Iain, I don't think you could have done anything to save this child by jumping in. Easy to be an armchair critic but how would you have located the boy ? If the water was 6ft deep it would have been very difficult to see.

If someone trained had arrived sooner they may well have been able to help.

Which is why I think the real moral of this story, and the one lesson which one can most to influence in the future, is to stop the Police spending 80% of their time doing paperwork, thus negating the need for this ridiculous PCSO sticking plaster.

Bobbies on the Beat sounds like a cliche - but when it comes to help in a crisis, they are really what is required here, not more hot air.

Hughes Views said...

Thanks for the accolade Iain but it's a shame you don't really understand the meaning of 'troll' (or ‘sock puppet’ come to that). It's always rather sad seeing elderly people misinterpreting slang especially when they get so close.

You remind me of my second boss who used to ask for "ballpoint" figures back in the 1970s...

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

anonymous [4.13 PM]

No, witnesses are compellable and liable to a fine or imprisonment if they fail to answer a summons; http://www.surreycoroner.info/workofcoroners.html#musta

AnyoneButBrown said...

Is this where we have finally come to after a decade of NuLab.
Two PCSO's watch a child die (from drowning) because they hadn't been trained in the "rescue drowning child procedure"
The police "service" should feel thoroughly ashamed of itself as should Det Ch Insp Phil Owen.
The government also bears heavy responsibility for creating PCSOs that are not trained to the same level as police officers and hence cheaper, and for the creation of a bureaucratic police culture whereby it's ok to allow someone to drown and then hide behind bureaucratic niceties

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a 'pond'. It was a lagoon the size of a football pitch and was very deep in places. There was no sign of the boy when the PCSAs arrived.

What would you have done Iain?

Iain Dale said...

I'll tell you exactly what I hope I would have done. Jumped in and done my damndest to find him. it may have been a pointless effort, but at least I would have tried.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of idiots some of you are - falling for tabloid sensationalism. Its not a pond, its a lake. The PCSO didn't stand and watch the child drown - the child was already submerged when they arrived. Sadly he was probably already dead. How were two possibly non-swimming blokes supposed to find a body hidden somewhere in a lake? When the full story comes out will you lot eat public humble pie or just go back to your copies of the Daily Mail where you can wallow in more badly reported but terribly sad tragedies?

Johnny Norfolk said...

Policing on the cheap, not proper policemen, Just what are they for.

labours gesture to more police.

What do the Tory party think about it as usual nothing said.

Kris said...

I am somewhat surprised. Ususally the emotion based responses come from the far left and it is left to the conservatives to deal in rational thought.

Anon 2.52 makes a superb point- which has been roundly ignored so others can take a swipe at the "seat warmers".

BTW having served in the navy and signed off to not be a liability to others should my ship sink and further signed off to rescue others, I have to say Anon 2.52 knows the drill.

BTW adults can easily drown in less that 6ft of water.

Here, let me ask the unpopular question: Why oh why was the boy's little sister (3 year's old) playing so close to the water without parental supervision?

Anonymous said...

PCSOs 'did not watch boy drown'

Jordon was pulled from the water but could not be resuscitated


Mother's reaction
Community support officers (PCSOs) "did not stand by and watch" a 10-year-old boy drown, a police chief has said.
Asst Ch Con Dave Thompson defended the two PCSOs actions after the death of Jordon Lyon, who drowned in a pond in Wigan, Greater Manchester on 3 May.

He said officers were not expected to jump into the water to rescue people and there was no indication where Jordon was in the lake.

An inquest into Jordon's death recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Jordon had leapt into the water after his eight-year-old stepsister Bethany got into difficulties as they collected tadpoles.

He was trying to support Bethany as she struggled in the six-feet-deep water before slipping from view.

Two anglers jumped in and saved Bethany but Jordon became submerged.

The alarm was raised and the PCSOs arrived on the scene. Police said they could see no sign of Jordon in the water, so they radioed trained officers for help.

Mr Thompson said they would not encourage any police officer to jump into the water because of the dangers and he paid tribute to the PCSOs for "acting correctly".


But he insisted: "The two PCSOs involved did not stand by and watch Jordan die.

"They acted correctly and I fully support the actions they took.

"The initial call to police gave the wrong location. This was no-one's fault, as the lake is known by several different names locally and there are other similar lakes nearby.

"The PCSOs managed to establish the correct location and immediately informed the control room to ensure the emergency services were sent there.

Fraught with danger

"One PCSO cycled to the road to alert other emergency services as they headed to the scene, while the other remained at the lake.

"Again it is important to stress that Jordon had not been seen for some time before their arrival. The inquest established that, tragically, at the time of the PCSOs' arrival, Jordan was probably dead.

"We do not encourage police and PCSOs to carry out this kind of underwater rescue. They are not trained in this type of rescue, which is fraught with danger.

"Everyone involved in this incident has been deeply affected and saddened by the loss of a young life."

Anonymous said...

Odd issue for you to get ranty about after your break. Despite media reports the PCSOs did not "see" the boy drown. If he could be seen under the water I agree that an attempt to pull him out should have been made, but that seems not to have been the case. Had other people (already on the scene) either stopped trying to find him or had not made the attempt? Don't just blame the PCSOs.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read all the comments, but I did read the article and the first few. The "police" arrived after two fishermen had already saved the sister, but were unable to save the victim. What makes anyone think the police could have saved him even if they went in? These guys certainly should have tried and I think less of them that they didn't, but in the end it probably wouldn't have mattered.

JMB said...

They should have been summoned to appear at the inquest even if they refused to give evidence, they should have been required to do that in person.

What's the betting that they get more support from counsellors and compensation than the family for the stress they were subjected to.

MB

simon-M said...

Iain, a slightly different light was cast on this story when it was covered on radio 5 at lunchtime. It was suggested that the poor lad had already dissapeared below the water by the time the PCOs turned up. Personally, I wouldnt hesitate from jumping into a pond to save an obviously drowning child. However, I'm not sure I'd be so keen to jump in if I couldnt actually see any evidence of a child in there.

Colin (again) said...

Kris, your further post (4.28) shows that you have totally failed to understand the point I made earlier. It is because lawyers, in relying on legalistic concepts such as 'duty to act', forget how to think for themsdelves and totally lose sight of common sense. 'Justice' is a reading of the law shot through with comon sense. That's what most posters on this thread are trying to get over to you.

Paul said...

How about letting some fact into the discussion. From the article mentioned on the BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/7006412.stm) the location is named. John Pit. Riht take another look at the second bit, and think about the bit of the country. Something called a pit in Wigan? They were in a disused coal mine.

The boy had not been seen for some time, so no one knew where to look for him. The water is dirty and visibility is poor.

Now, who still wants to slag people off for not diving into a disused coal mine?

tapestry said...

They were rooted to the centre ground, unable to move - a bit like British politics. Meanwhile kids die.

Rickytshirt said...

If the boy could not be seen then it's a complete different scenario.

Verity said...

Anonymous 5:43, in a hymn to NuLabSpeak, writes: "Mr Thompson said they would not encourage any police officer to jump into the water because of the dangers and he paid tribute to the PCSOs for "acting correctly". "

He "paid tribute" to the PCSOs for suppressing their natural human feelings to save a child? And he wouldn't encourage any police officer to jump into the water because of the dangers?

Would he encourage any officer to engaged in a car chase on the MI? Would he encourage any officer to try to stop an armed man? Would he encourage any firefighter to, uh, rescue people from a burning building? I'd just like to be clear on where we stand with Mr Thompson.

Man in a Shed said...

It sounds like the support officers had a problem locating the boy who was under water.

Labour have used support officers as cheap policemen - to give the impression of doing something.

If they can't really do much themselves then we have all, yet again, been conned by New Labour.

There is a pattern here:

Health care professions - instead of doctors.
Auxiliary nurses - instead of nurses.
Teaching assistants instead of teachers.
And community support officers instead of police officers.

strapworld said...

Paul said an old coal pit.

On Channel Four News, just, it said that at the deepest it was 6 to 8 feet deep.

Anyway the police nowadays are slaves to Elf and Safety Legislation brought in by the EU to control us.

Just a passing thought from an old time copper who served thirty years in the Met!...our duty was to protect life and property!!!

Obviously they have re-written the rules and I agree with iain about the statement of the DCi..

I am ashamed of the police.

verity said...

According to the Torygraph, a senior member of the Police Federation has called for this absurd scheme to be scrapped. He said, ""The public are being fooled. We are sending people out there who are dressed as police officers."

The stupidity of having pretend police officers patrolling the street so the public can pretend there are officers on the beat beggars belief.

4micah said...

The officers are probably decent people like you and I. It's the system that needs to change.

Reminds me of the rigmarole that the US troops in Afghanistan have to go through to get anything done. Any wonder we haven't gotten Bin Laden yet?

strapworld said...

Verity...the conservative governments all tried to bring in more and more hobby bobbies...I know the Home Office controlled by Guardianistas led the campaign for cheaper coppers! BUT do not blame this lot entirely.

The Conservatives brought in the Criminals Protection Society (CPS) in their Police and Criminal Evidence Act. They brought in far more 'liberal' legislation than this crowd, BUT never let us forget The Dangerous Dogs Act! The Conservative Party's finest hour.

Also never forget that it was under the Conservative Government that the largest meeting of police officers at Wembley took place (over 20.000) to protest against the Sheehy Report!
I know 'cause I chaired that meeting!

The Conservatives have nothing to crow about on the way the police have been neutered.

Sorry.

verity said...

No need to apologise, Strapworld. I personally think the Conservative Party has lost its way and has become too liberal, thus robbing voters of a genuine choice.

I would like to see a real Tory and a real Tory shadow cabinet vying for votes. That there is no choice is why voters stay at home and red in tooth and claw communists slither in under the door.

Paul said...

Strapworld - it *IS* a disused coal mine - it is the old John Pit, formerly of the Wigan Coal an Iron Company. The area is around the size of a football pitch. The descriptions of it as a "pond" are totally misleading.

Many stretches of water around here are as a result of mining - either opencast that has filled, or like Pennington Flash in Leigh as a result of miming subsidence.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Iain, this is deeply unfair. the coroner said when the PCSO's arrived the boy was almost certainly dead already and the fact was that two members of the public were already in thw water and could see no sign of him.

Given that there were a number of lakes in the area and that the police were not even sure that the lake they were at was the lake in question, one of the PCSO's went to diret the proper people (fire. police specialists, etc) and the other sought to do what he could. Given that the boy was not in sight at all, any flailing awround in the water would have been a futile effort and would not ahve saved anyone.

Again, I think that when the facts of the case are known, the story does not fit the headline (and I've blogged making this point too).

Matt Wardman said...

Your sentiments are spot on if the people drowning are visible or just sunken.

The reports I have been hearing are that they had been underwater for some minutes already.

Matt Wardman said...

And what sounds like very confused communication to the media.

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

I believe people have been revived even after a few minutes under water. If two people were in the water already, looking for the boy, one or both of the toy policeman could have joined them. A long shot, but worth trying.

I am just an elderly lawyer, and not very brave, but I know I would have jumped in.

Giles said...

It's staggering how easily people can display righteous outrage, and still more ridiculously pose their putative bravery before the rest of the world, over an incident they did not witness or even know the details of. Clearly an essential attribute to the successful blogger. Still worse being able to glibly spin it into a political viewpoint.

This is clearly not a case of two hand-wringing, politically-correct wimps standing by while a kid struggles within reach in the water, wishing they were not hamstrung by Leftish protocol. But not knowing what really happened doesn't seem to prevent people leaping out with their own professions of would-be bravery and sneering outrage at others who don't have their would-be bravery.

Anonymous said...

The officers are probably decent people like you and I.

It doesn't matter who or what they were. The fact remains that they will wake up every morning for the rest of their lives, look in the mirror and know that they stood by while a child died.

Newmania said...

Thanks for the accolade Iain but it's a shame you don't really understand the meaning of 'troll' (or ‘sock puppet’ come to that).


Prat.

Anonymous said...

Anyone asking why parents would leave a 10 year old to look after younger kids near a big expanse of water?

Anonymous said...

It would surely have been helpful if these PCSO's had attended the inquest and given their evidence in person. Witnesses can be compelled to attend an inquest, but they cannot be compelled to give evidence if to do so might incriminate them.

Chris Paul said...

The BBC are in fact saying six to eight feet deep. It's a small medium lake or flash as we say up here - not a swimming pond or lido. It is a flooded mine subsidence. More here.

It is hard to imagine disagreeing more with your view on this. Paul Kelly of the Police Federation is calling for PCSOs to be disestablished e.g. in the Times link I give. But we all know PCSOs are (a) different and (b) able to take some pressure off the police.

Today for example two quite major roads in South Central Manchester had a portion closed - it may in fact still be closed more than 12 hours after i first came across it.

Anyway, the area was kept secure and motorists re-directed and so on by PCSOs. Without them FOUR police times however many shifts would have had to staff the barricades.

My post also links to reports of the original inquest in Bolton (no mention of PCSOs). The kids were unaccompanied. they knew they were banned from swimming there. But signs had been vandalised according to the inquest account.

Chris Paul said...

PS The inquest reckoned Jordan had been completely submerged for around 30 minutes. No exact timeline but I'd guess that might mean 20-25 minutes before the PCSOs attended. At that point no one had any real idea where his body was within a considerable volume of treacherous water.

Newmania said...

Still hard to imagine not trying Chris. I would , wouldn`t you ?This incident shows what happens to people when compassion is only excercised through bureaucracy. This is what we are becoming in Brown`s grey soulless state of forms , commissars and moral amnesia.

Anonymous said...

Normally I agree with a fair amount of what you say Iain, but on this I think you are completely and utterly wrong. The PCSOs did exactly the right thing, regardless of whether they could swim or not.

Your kneejerk reaction does you no favours. Hopefully, as you realise the true facts of the case, you will have the decency to retract your unjustified accusations.

Iain Dale said...

anopnymous, just because you disagree with me does not mean it is a kneejerk reaction. I retract nothing. If most people had been there they would have gone in the water. End of story. So should at least one of the PCSOs. Training doesnt come into it.

Anonymous said...

The requirement for police to be able to swim was dropped a couple of years ago - a plod said so on R4 PM this evening.

Now why do you think that particular hurdle was dropped? I'll give you a clue. Which part of which UK community doesn't swim, leading some councils have XX-only mornings in the local pool?

Sorry, if some don't like the answer, but I believe it has got a lot to do with the result that police officers don't have to swimmers.

Anonymous said...

"The even more important point is once you adopt a duty towards someone else, you'd better not mess it up."

And who made that up, Kris? I'm sure we know who profits from it.

tapestry said...

my mate who's a copper says PCSO's are worse than useless as they have no powers to do anything, except call for real police officers, thus greatly increasing workload without increasing service capacity.

My mate met david Cameron when he passed a day with his locl force, and told him so. Let's hope Cammers got the idea and ensures that real police officers are deployed - not fancy dress ones.

Simon Harley said...

It's all very well saying the PCSO were useless and din't act as human beings, but what where the two anglers in their waders doing?? They'd already fished the 8-year old girl out - did they just run off and leave the boy to drown?

Anonymous said...

Of course it was kneejerk, Iain. You made your attack without bothering to check the facts, rather basing your comments on the belief that it was a pond and that the boy was still visible when the officers arrived. In reality it was a lake and the boy had been submerged for some time. Only a fool - or a relative - would have jumped in in such circumstances.

Anonymous said...

Why does anyone have to dive or jump in? They could have walked in, one holding on to the other so that if one got into difficulty he could be pulled back by the other,