Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cameron's disgraceful attack on police...

Disgusted and saddened to hear David Cameron use the tragic drowning of a Wigan lad in an attempt to score a cheap political point.

In his make-or-break speech to Conservative Conference, the Tory Leader has just suggested that two community support officers stood by and watched ten-year-old Jordon Lyon drown "because the rules wouldn't let them" dive in and save him.

This is simply not true and it is a disgraceful and unfounded attack on the two police officers involved.

Read the facts for yourself, as reported by the Press Association.

Greater Manchester Police have made it clear that the two PCSOs DID NOT stand by and watch Jordon die as Cameron suggested.

In fact, the original call to the police gave the wrong location as there were a number of similar lakes in the area. When the two officers arrived at the right location, they could see no sign of Jordon in the lake, which was the size of a football pitch.

Two fishermen had waded in to rescue Jordon's sister, but Jordon had not been seen for a number of minutes. The water was black, with no visibility.

The PCSOs immediately summoned extra help by radio and made sure emergency services could locate the scene. Their actions have been entirely supported by their Chief Constable. They did the right thing.

The inquest into the tragedy established that Jordon had most likely died before the PCSOs arrived at the lake.

The facts are there was nothing those two officers could have done to save the lad.

But Cameron's not interested in the facts.

Very sad that a man who aspires to lead our country should attempt to attack the integrity of our hard-working police officers simply to gain political advantage.

Another example of Cameron's lack of judgement and leadership.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

For someone from the Labour Party to say that 'Cameron is not interested in the facts' is appalling, after Gordon Brown's disgraceful spin on the troops that are supposed to come home but have never been to Iraq or have already come home.

Have a read of this, which is from three days AFTER the news report you quoted:

Ravi Gopaul said...

Phil in the interests of facts, the men involved were not police officers but community support officers.
The Times said
"On May 3 Jordon, his two brothers, his stepbrother and his stepsister, Bethany, had gone looking for tadpoles around John Pit Pond in Wigan. The old mining shaft is narrow at the edge but quickly becomes 6ft 6in (2m) deep.
Bethany began to struggle in the water and Jordon saved her life by holding her up. John Collinson, a fisherman who went to help, described how he found her with her arms wrapped around Jordon’s neck. The boy’s head was under the water but his eyes were open.
Mr Collinson and a companion waded into the water. Bethany was pulled to safety but Jordon disappeared beneath the surface. The police were called. Two community support officers arrived on bicycles but, Mr Collinson said, they just stood there.
Jordon’s stepbrother ran home to raise the alarm and Mr Ganderton rushed to the pond. “When we got there the PCSOs [police community support officers] were just stood there watching,” he said. “I can’t understand it. If I had been walking along a canal and seen a child drowning, I would have jumped in.”
Mr Ganderton and his friend dived in and were quickly joined by a sergeant who stripped off his body armour after being alerted by radio.
Jordon was pulled out unconscious, having spent between 10 and 30 minutes under water, and died in hospital. His kidneys and liver were donated. The deputy coroner, Alan Walsh, told a Bolton inquest that the boy had shown “the utmost bravery”. He recorded a verdict of accidental death.
The police said yesterday: “Unfortunately, the pond is locally known by more than one name and, as a result, officers called to attend the incident were sent to a different location.Two PCSOs on patrol in the area arrived at John Taylor’s Pit but there were no signs of the boy in the water. Having made an assessment of the situation, one of the PCSOs called the control room to give out the correct location. "

If PCSOs are not trained to deal with dagerous situations what is the point in having them?

fairdealphil said...


Fact: Establishment of British troops in Iraq has been in the order of 5,500 over recent months, down from 30,000 at the fall of Saddam Hussain.

Fact: Numbers will fall to around 4,500 by the end of the year.

Fact: The drowned boy had been under the water for some time before the police support officers arrived.

Fact: The report you highlight in an attempt to justify Cameron's disgraceful attack on the police makes it clear that the inquest established that the boy was probably dead by the time the PCSOs arrived.

fairdealphil said...

ravi gopaul:

you state:

'in the interests of facts, the men involved were not police officers but community support officers...'

fair point, but they are uniformed members of the police family/team...and in the interests of facts, one of them appears to have been a woman!

More to the point, the report you feature also makes it clear that the boy had 'disappeared beneath the surface' before the police were even called.

There was then the confusion over the correct location of lake as it is known locally by more than one name.

The report goes on to state:

'Two PCSOs on patrol in the area arrived at John Taylor’s Pit but there were no signs of the boy in the water.'

It appears that Jordon had been under the water - which was black with no visibility - for some time.

PCSOs may not be trained to deal with emergency scenarios.

That is not their function.

They do an excellent job in providing a uniformed presence and visibility on the streets.

Certainly the PCSO we are fortunate enough to have in my village in south Lincolnshire is widely regarded as doing a good job in helping keep our community safe in all sorts of ways.

To suggest they are useless because they are not fully trained police officers is unfair.

The clue is in the name: "Police Community Support Officers".

Ravi Gopaul said...

Thanks for the clarification with regards to the woman PCSO.
If it was one of their own kids who happened to be in the water I am sure they would have waded in to save him. The fact they did not even get their feet wet is quite disgraceful. The public should have confidence in the men and women who make up the police. I am sure their confidence in the PCSOs (who have as much power to police the streets as me) has been shaken up. Your an honest bloke, tell me if one of your children happen to fall into the water and became non visable would you still be so blaze about the whole issue? How would you react to the point other people jumped into the lake while they sat on the side an radioed in? I am sure most real coppers (the TRUE members of the police family as you put it)would have done so. The fact you agree with me in that they are not trained to deal with emergency scenarios certainly puts in to question their worth.

You said
"Certainly the PCSO we are fortunate enough to have in my village in south Lincolnshire is widely regarded as doing a good job in helping keep our community safe in all sorts of ways"

How on earth do they keep your community safe if they are not trained to deal with emergency scenarios?
Sorry Phil but I just can't agree with you on this one.

Anonymous said...

Most people would expect the PCSOs to get their feet wet even if no body was visible. We live by symbolism. The community cops would have been aware of that.

I don't think Cameron was attacking the police. He was attacking the deranged lawyer culture that is sweeping the professions best symbolised at Stamford train station where disabled people getting off trains are told to go to Melton and come back again (to Leicester out of hours).

Anonymous said...

The Police in my county, Lincolnshire, are useless. I have had about 30 serious offences committed against me and know of and have tried to report child abuse to Lincolnshire Police but they do not want to know and do nothing. The other evening a Police patrol stopped my car and asked me if I was the burglar they were seeking for offences committed in the village I had just passed through on my way home from walking my dog. I hadn't the heart to tell the poor fellow that it was probably the travellers hiding their vans in a field behind a large hedge who were the culprits and that they had upped and left several days ago. Probably would have had me for racial abuse anyway so it was just as well I didn't say anything.