A judge has slammed the 'ethos of sexual banter and impropriety' among community support officers at a London police station.Never present in any real police station, I suppose?
Mind you, when you look at what can get a job as PCSO nowadays…
John Parker, who was barely 18 at the time, was accused of grabbing a woman's bottom while out on patrol and telling her she had a 'nice a***'.So, too young to buy a bottle of gin unchallenged by a cashier in Tesco, but perfectly ok to put on a uniform and stop people in the street?
He allegedly asked the woman to come back to the prayer room at Belgravia Police Station 'for a shag', Southwark Crown Court heard.
Parker admitted to the jury that the 29-year-old kneed him in the groin after he accidentally touched her bottom in 'a bit of banter'.
Even the judge shied a bit at that:
But Judge Michael Gledhill expressed his shock at the 'torrid atmosphere' among young officers.Which, I think, is judge-speak for ‘What the hell was the government thinking..?!?’
He said: 'In the absence of the jury during the course of this trial I have expressed fairly strong views about the lack of professionalism that persisted within the team of PCSOs at Belgravia Police Station at the end of 2008 and 2009.
'The officer in charge of the case, who was not in any way responsible for the PCSOs at the time and probably is not today, only became aware of the ethos of sexual banter and impropriety when he was investigating this case.
'My assessment of what happened in the days that the jury have been dealing with it, is that a 19-year-old, immature young man, having been placed into the uniform of a community support officer, was thrown into the torrid atmosphere of other PCSOs working within the team at that time.'
Judge Gledhill said Parker was 'unable to distinguish between the boundaries of professional behaviour and unprofessional behaviour, of sexually appropriate and sexually inappropriate behaviour.Yup, got it in one, your honour. All to save the cost of employing more real police.
'I was shocked at what I had heard and the lack of supervision of any of those officers.
'They trained at Hendon, no doubt appropriately. They then seem to be thrown onto the streets without any proper supervision. '
Not that some of them are any better, mind you…
During the three-day trial the judge had warned the Crown Prosecution Service to consider dropping the case against Parker.Because, yes, he was acquitted.
He added: 'The defendant himself has been suspended for a year and awaits disciplinary proceedings that were rightly adjourned until the end of this trial.
'As far as the disciplinary proceedings are concerned, I do not believe that it would be appropriate for me to say anything now that the defendant has been acquitted of each of these charges.'
NuLabour, working for you…