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A mum who claims she was ‘attacked’ by a group of people in a shop has hit out at a PCSO who was filmed refusing to get involved despite being in a car just 200 yards down the road.

Sussex Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) Stewart Metcalfe was recorded on camera sitting down the road from the shop in Lancing in West Sussex last week when someone told him that a member of the public was being attacked.

He reportedly refused to go into the Co-op shop and told the passer-by who had reported the incident that he wasn’t a ‘response’ unit.

The copper was asked whether he would even drive past the shop in the hopes that the group of people might ‘scatter’.

He responded: “But then I have to deal with it.”

PCSOs were introduced in 2002. They can't arrest people, interview suspects or carry out some of the riskier policing tasks, but they can use reasonable force to stop a suspect fleeing the scene and can accompany a suspect to a police station.

The PCSO was sitting just down the road from the shop.

Outside his home in Worthing on Monday (3 July), Metcalfe refused to be drawn on what actually happened, telling MailOnline: "I haven't seen the video yet.

“I'm on a rest day from work.

"I won't say anything, it's probably best not to right now."

Metcalfe has previously received an award alongside for assisting with two colleagues to save a man’s life at Lancing Beach in 2015 after he attempted to harm himself.

Michael – the man who filmed this recent footage – told Metcalfe that a mum had been hurt by a teenager after they had been accused of stealing from the shop.

Rohany, 41, said that she saw the kids nicking stuff from the Co-op and felt pity for the security guard, who she claims was being abused both physically and verbally.

After attempting to film the teenagers and calling the police, Rohany claims a girl threw a can of Malibu at her and punched her in the head.

Eventually, others intervened and the teenager went away.

The mum-of-three later said: "I've seen the clip of that PCSO refusing to help and he should've done more.

“If he couldn't have gone there himself, would it not have been useful to radio his colleagues and make sure they were aware of what had happened?

"I think it's this attitude which is enabling criminals to operate with impunity in this area."

Michael added: "What kind of message does this send out? The police refusing to police?

"The PCSO couldn't have seemed less interested.

“He was very dismissive, all I got from him was a 'this isn't my job' vibe."

A member of the public told the PCSO to get involved, but he refused.

Sussex Police has confirmed it is aware of the video, 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 subject of a live investigation, and the victim has been contacted by officers."

West Sussex local policing Superintendent Nick Dias said: "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."

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/@M1ck

Topics: UK News, Crime