Two PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers), also known as 'Blunkett Bobbies' after former Home Secretary, David Blunkett who introduced them, reportedly locked themselves in a room and called the real police to deal with an aggressive child.
The part time officers were called to a referral centre but had to hide when a 13-year-old boy 'became abusive'. 4 real police were dispatched, arrested the boy then let him go after 45 minutes.
PCSOs were introduced in 2002 for public reassurance, they have limited power, only being able to hold suspects for 30 minutes. They have been criticised in the past, most notably for watching a 10-year-old boy drown and not helping.