Two police support officers looked on as a boy of ten drowned because they had not been trained to deal with such an emergency.
Jordon Lyon had jumped into a pond after his step-sister Bethany Ganderton, eight, got into difficulties while swimming.
Emergency services were called and two police community support officers - nicknamed "Blunkett's bobbies" - were the first on the scene on their bikes
But instead of wading in, they stood on the side of the pond and waited for trained officers to turn up.
When Sergeant Craig Lippitt, a regular police officer, arrived minutes later, he stripped off his body armour and jumped into the pond in Wigan.
Jordon was pulled from the water but, despite attempts to resuscitate him, was pronouced dead in hospital.
The incident is likely to raise further questions over the effectiveness of support officers who have been described as "plastic police" - under-trained and ill-equipped.
Jordon's parents, Tracy and Anthony Ganderton, yesterday condemned the pair for failing to help in the crucial minutes in which their son's life could have been saved.
At an inquest into Jordon's death, Mr Ganderton said: "When we got there, the PCSOs just stood there watching.
"I can't understand it. If I had been walking along and seen a child drowning I would have jumped in."
Detective Chief Inspector Philip Owen of Greater Manchester Police told the inquest: "PCSOs are not trained to the same extent as police officers, so wouldn't have been taught how to deal with a situation like this."
But Mr Ganderton retorted: "You don't have to be trained to jump in after a drowning child."
He and his wife are demanding to know why the PCSOs did not try to rescue Jordon the second they arrived on the scene, why the officers did not give evidence at the inquest and why their identities were concealed. DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT - JOIN NAVIGOR TODAY !