Assaults: Protect the Protectors
Assaults on police officers are sadly commonplace. Our latest welfare survey data suggests there were more than two million unarmed physical assaults on officers over 12 months, and a further 302,842 assaults using a deadly weapon during the same period. These figures estimate that an assault on a police officer happens every four minutes.
To assault a police officer, prison officer, or other emergency service worker is to attack society itself and should never be accepted as ‘part of the job’. Together with our partners, the British Transport Police Federation and Prison Officers’ Association, we are campaigning for:
- a change in legislation
- tougher sentences
- better training and access to equipment
- more accurate data on police assaults
- improved welfare support.
What is the Police Federation doing?
We are working with MPs to press for a change in legislation, leading to tougher sentences for those who assault police officers and other emergency service workers. A review of sentencing for those convicted of assaulting police officers is also being called for - all too often sentences being passed do not adequately reflect the seriousness of the offence.
- Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill
MP for Rhondda Chris Bryant’s Private Members Bill went before Parliament on 20 October to create a new offence of assaulting an emergency worker. There was unanimous cross-party support and the Bill has subsequently cleared the committee stage with the hope of it progressing to statute by Easter 2018.
The campaign also seeks more consistent reporting of assaults on the emergency services – as these are currently vastly under reported. In addition, we are calling for better training for police officers and access to equipment such as body-worn video, Taser and spit and bite guards.
Officers have come forward from around the country to tell us the harsh realities of what they endure in the course of protecting the public, and the toll this can exact on their physical and mental wellbeing. You can read their stories (on the right-hand side) and in video testimonies below.
How you can get behind the campaign