Sussex Police Community Support Officer 'refuses' to attend report of shoplifting seconds away

  • A member of the public stopped to speak to the PCSO

A video which has surfaced online shows a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) from Sussex seemingly "refusing" to attend a report of shoplifting down the road.

The dashcam footage shows a member of the public alerting the PCSO, who was sat in a police car, to an incident at a shop just seconds away.

A Good Morning Britain reporter found it took 27 seconds to drive to the shop from where the PCSO was.

In the video, the member of the public said: "Alright, you need to get around to the Co-op.

"Honestly, there's just been a fight round there because people are trying to stop the shoplifters that you're doing nothing about.

"There's a member of the public just been assaulted by a 15-year-old girl who's drunk, had a drink thrown in her face, got punched. People have called the police. We've come round here and you're sitting here."

In response, the PCSO said: "I'm not a response unit, unfortunately."

The member of the public explained: "I know you're not but the sight of the car will make them scatter."

To which the PCSO replied: "Yeah but then I have to deal with it."

The member of the public asked if the PCSO was "afraid to deal with it" but the PCSO said: "That's not, that's not the point."

Sussex Police has said it's aware of the video footage.

A spokesperson said: "The matter was reported to us and a police officer attended the incident as an emergency. The PCSO also then attended the scene.

"The investigation into a report of assault and shoplifting is the subject of a live investigation, and the victim has been contacted by officers."

West Sussex local policing Superintendent Nick Dias added: “Keeping the public safe and feeling safe is paramount and our officers and PCSOs work hard to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour, often in challenging circumstances.

"We work closely with local retailers and partners to help prevent and respond to anti-social behaviour and assaults on shop workers.

“We are sorry for the clumsy language used by the PCSO in this exchange and acknowledge the public’s concern.

"A police unit was dispatched to the scene as a matter of priority. Our response to this incident is being reviewed.”

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