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, and supporters, we are campaigning for:
- sentences which provide an appropriate deterrent
- better training and access to equipment
- more accurate data on police assaults
- improved welfare support
- more consistent reporting of assaults on emergency services (as these are vastly under reported)
- training and access to body-worn video, Taser and spit and bite guards
Rhondda MP Chris Bryant's Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill received Royal Assent on 13 September 2018 and represents a major success for the campaign. It makes it an offence to assault or sexually assault an emergency worker, punishable by up to 12 months in prison. The Bill passed through both houses of parliament with near unanimous cross-party support and represents a significant milestone in the Protect the Protectors campaign. Watch a short video of the Police Federation of England and Wales Chair, John Apter, giving his reaction to the Bill becoming law.
We will continue to work with MPs and stakeholders to ensure police officers have the right equipment for their protection and that the new sentencing powers are properly used to deter those who would attack the emergency services.
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. We encourage you to read their stories below:
How you can get behind the campaign