is this the best you can expect from a PCSO?
- From: gormand53@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 04:20:05 -0800 (PST)
Ever since I moved onto a council estate three years ago, I've
suffered from harassment from teenagers. Why they target me is
something I've never figured out. I can only suppose that it's because
I live by myself, don't seem to know many people in the neighbourhood,
and am the sort of mild-mannered bloke who never wants any
trouble...and as such, I'm the ideal person to pick on without fear of
For three years, I've tried to get the police to deal with this
problem, because I've never believed in taking the law into my own
hands, but despite officers right up to Chief Inspector level inviting
me in for a chat and assuring me that they are doing their best,
I now have quite a few exasperating experiences of how lamentably
they're failing to help - this is the latest.
A couple of days ago I was spotted by four teenagers, who followed me
right into town, weaving their bikes around me and saying some really
nasty things to me.
As is usual with the yobs who've harassed me in the past, they were
totally fearless because they knew I didn't know their identities.
They'd just come out of school, and I knew which school from their
uniforms, so I told them I'd see their headmaster. All I got was "Oh,
he's going to see our headmaster!" They obviously knew that even
knowing which school they went to wouldn't help me much.
So realising that the only way I'd get anywhere was to get photos of
them to show to the school, as soon as we were in town I bought a
disposable camera and went looking for them. They'd split up by then,
but I spotted one going into a store. I told a member of staff what
had happened and asked if the youth would be on their CCTV. She
offered to call the police, and I accepted gratefully.
Well, the youth was still there when an officer (a PCSO) arrived, and
I thought 'great, I'm finally going to get one of the buggers caught
and identified - this'll make the others think twice'.
But as usual, what happened next caused my faith in the police to take
yet another nose-dive.
He took the youth out of my earshot and had a talk with him - I
thought 'fair enough'. But then he came back and said "I'm going to
ask him to apologise to you and then I'M GOING TO ASK YOU TO APOLOGISE
TO HIM". I just couldn't believe that last part. In utter disbelief, I
asked this PCSO why on earth I thought I should apologise to this
youth, and he said "Well, he tells me that you made him feel
intimidated". I protested that the harassment had all been on his
part, but all I got back was "Well, I wasn't there at the time, so I
can only go by what you've both said to me".
This is a 14 or 15 year old on one hand, and a sober-looking man in
his fifties on the other, and yet this PCSO treats it the same way as
you'd treat an argument between a couple of kids.
I was too speechless to pursue this, so I asked him if he'd got the
youth's name and address. I then asked him to radio in to check the
details weren't false, but all he said were "I can't do that, because
"So how do you know he hasn't given a false name and address?"
"As soon as I get back to the station, I'll check it the datbase".
"But he'll be gone then. If they details turn out to be false, you'll
never find him again. The best way is to check them you've got him".
I may as well have been talking to the wall - he just wouldn't radio
in. So I took out my camera, took a picture of the youth, and said to
the PCSO: "Well, that's in just in case".
His response to my taking the picture? "Oh, you can't do that! It's
against his human rights".
My conclusion: if anyone gets into the unfortunate position of
becoming a target for yobs, don't bother with the police - you'll end
up tearing your hair out.