It’s about time PCSOs were ditched.
Police were accused of being ‘heavy handed’ today after four officers were dispatched to deal with a 84-year old World War Two veteran – because he was riding his bicycle on the pavement.
Great grandfather James Gresty was chased into a bank by two police community support officers after they said he was cycling on the path outside.
The pair ordered Mr Gresty to come outside for a ticking off but when he refused they called for ‘back-up’ from two other regular officers in a nearby police van.
They promptly drove over the pedestrianised street outside the Halifax bank in Sale, Greater Manchester, to reach him and issue him with a £30 fixed penalty for an offence of cycling in a pedestrianised area.
Today widower Mr Gresty, who won several war medals during his three year service as a private with the York and Lancaster Regiment, said: ‘I was shocked at the attitude of these two officers who wanted to speak to me.
‘They were carrying on as if I had been guilty of committing a serious criminal offence.
‘They were being aggressive, rude and heavy handed, all over an in issue of whether I was cycling on the pavement.
‘I wouldn’t mind but they didn’t even get that right either. I had got off my bike before I got on the pavement. God knows why four police officers had to be involved.
‘You would have thought they would have something better to do with their time. I’m an 84-year-old man, not some teenage hoodie.
‘And it’s all rather galling that that their "back"up drove across a pedestrianised area, which I think is far more dangerous than riding a bike across it.
‘It seemed that these two PCSOs were young people who put on a uniform and thought they owned the place. Obviously the power had gone to their heads.’
But then, this is Greater Manchester Police we’re talking about. We should expect no less.
Massive respect to Mr Gresty for standing up to the bullying little shites. He deserves our support.
UPDATE: The comments under the Manchester Evening News’ version of the same story make for depressing reading. We’re living in an age of collaborators.