Case study: West Yorkshire - surrounded by hostile crowd

PC Craig Gallant

PC Craig Gallant

PC Craig Gallant was surrounded by a hostile crowd when a stop for drugs offences turned ugly.

The West Yorkshire officer had taken Halifax MP, Holly Lynch, on patrol with him when his vehicle’s on-board number plate recognition system flagged up a passing car as somebody wanted in connection with drugs offences.
PC Gallant said: “There was a short chase, during which time the driver and his passenger arranged for some friends to join them. Once I stopped him, the driver was less than cooperative and all of a sudden three cars arrived and we were surrounded.”

Holly, who was locked in the car for her protection, observed that locals had taken a ‘tribal dislike’ to the lone officer in their community and formed an agitated crowd.

PC Gallant was forced to draw his baton and the MP was so concerned that she called 999. Back-up eventually arrived and prevented an escalation, but the suspects got away.

The terrifying experience persuaded Holly to work with the Police Federation of England and Wales to highlight the prevalence of assaults and need for stronger deterrents.

PC Gallant added: “I think it showed Holly how vulnerable officers are. I understand there are budget pressures but when officers are being asked to attend jobs single crewed and there is violence present, it’s just not acceptable.”

Main page - Assaults: Protect The Protectors