Forces condemn serious and unacceptable assaults on officers
Senior officers and local branches of the Police Federation for England and Wales have highlighted concerning numbers of assaults on officers within recently published use of force data.
Senior officers and local branches of the Police Federation for England and Wales have highlighted concerning numbers of assaults on officers within recently published use of force data. Twelve forces have published use of force data, including the number of officers assaulted or injured. While the National Police Chiefs Council says differing recording methods mean comparisons cannot be made between forces, Police Federation branch representatives insist the figures indicate a worrying increase in police officer assaults. Staffordshire Police officers used force on 1,345 occasions 3.1 per cent of the incidents dealt with between April and June, and 4,387 arrests were made. In that same period, 138 police officers were injured, equal to 10.2 per cent of incidents in which force was used. Staffordshire police and crime commissioner Matthew Ellis said the figures show the incredibly difficult job that officers perform. Keith Jervis, chair of the Staffordshire Police Federation, added: Whilst not the only cause of the apparent increase in assaults on our officers, the reduction of Government funding over a number of years saw police officers in Staffordshire reduce from about 2,400 to about 1,640. The effect this has to the front line operational officer is that he is more likely to attend an incident of violence either single crewed or possibly with little or no back up readily available. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) revealed on Tuesday (August 1) that 643 officers received minor injuries while applying force between April and June this year. A further ten officers suffered severe wounds. Commander Matt Twist said: Our officers face the most dangerous situations every day. It is important we give them the right training and equipment to do the job. “Use of force techniques are there to stop violence and danger, protecting not only the officer making an arrest but also the public at the scene, and the person being arrested. Lincolnshire Police used force to restrain an individual in 1,572 instances, which is just 3.5 per cent of the total number of incidents dealt with in that period. During the use of force, 64 officers were injured, 29 of which were as a direct result of the subject intentionally assaulting the officer. Fifty officers were assaulted, 36 spat at and 21 violently threatened with a weapon. The most recent figures released by West Mercia Police show 330 police officers were assaulted in 2016, a 34 per cent increase on the previous year. And during the same period, 243 Leicestershire Police officers were assaulted on duty according to police recorded crime statistics. Based on assaults reported to the health and safety or HR teams by officers, 46 were injured after being assaulted on duty in 2016, however, it is thought many assaults go unreported as few officers submit the relevant forms. Tiff Lynch, chair of the Leicestershire Police Federation, said the figures are of great concern. Police officers understand their role puts them into contact with people in extreme situations but that does not mean that they should see being assaulted as part of the job. “All too often police officers – and other emergency services staff – are the victims of sustained and deliberate attacks by members of the public.” Last week, a total of 33 West Yorkshire Police officers were assaulted, a figure that Chief Constable Dee Collins said was unacceptable. She completed impact statements on behalf of all 33 injured officers, and in a statement on Twitter she added: “While the severity of such attacks changes, the impact on society does not. It is never acceptable to assume that assaults upon police officers and staff should be tolerated, they are not simply `part of the job`. While it is clear that the nature of policing requires members of the organisation to handle difficult and hostile situations, assaults upon them are serious and unacceptable. Each time an officer or member of staff is assaulted there