MPs show support for improved officer safety

12 October 2016

Policing Minister Brandon Lewis with Holly Lynch MP, Chief Inspector Nick Smart and PC Craig Gallant

Policing Minister Brandon Lewis with Holly Lynch MP, Chief Inspector Nick Smart and PC Craig Gallant

MPs showed solidarity in the need for more to be done to protect police officers from being assaulted during a special parliamentary debate yesterday evening.

Holly Lynch, MP for Halifax, led the 30-minute discussion during which she called on Policing Minister Brandon Lewis to standardise the collection of assault data across all forces, explore options for tougher sentences for offenders found guilty of assaulting officers and to recognise the issue of single crewing and the risk this presents.

Ms Lynch has seen first-hand the threats that officers face in the course of a routine shift. Whilst out on a routine patrol with PC Craig Gallant from West Yorkshire Police in August, she was forced to call 999 from the patrol car after PC Gallant found himself surrounded by an aggressive crowd of people following the routine stop of a vehicle.

The most up-to-date figures available show that an officer is assaulted every 22 minutes across England and Wales for simply doing their job, but the actual number of incidents is expected to be even higher.

The debate heard from many MPs on both sides of the house including Democratic Unionist Party MP Ian Paisley who revealed startling figures that showed in the past two years more than a quarter of police officer colleagues in Northern Ireland had found themselves the victim of an assault.

The debate followed an afternoon event where more than 40 MPs took the time to discuss the issue with members of the Police Federation for England and Wales as well as officers directly affected by incidents.

Calum Macleod, Vice Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “The support shown from MPs across the board today is testament to just how acute an issue this is. Everyone we spoke to could relate to stories they had heard in their constituencies.

“Officers, like everyone else, have the right to feel safe when they go to work, but when figures show that an officer is assaulted every 22 minutes across England and Wales, something is wrong.

“We thank Holly for having raised this debate and all her hard work in outlining the issues that exist. This is one step along the path to change and we will continue our activity to bring about this change for the benefit of our members and ultimately the benefit of the public they protect.”

More information on assaults 

 

MPs that attended the afternoon drop-in event to discuss the issue of officer safety included:

Alan Campbell (Tynemouth) (Labour)
Byron Davies (Gower) (Con)
Caroline Flint (Don Valley) (Labour)
Carolyn Harris (Swansea East) (Labour)
Chris Elmore (Ogmore) (Labour)
Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central) (Labour)
David Amess (Southend West) (Con)
Dawn Butler (Brent Central) (Labour)
Gerald Jones (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney) (Labour)
Gill Furniss (Sheffield, Brightside & Hillsborough) (Labour)
Graham Jones (Hyndburn) (Labour)
Holly Lynch (Halifax) (Labour)
Jack Dromey (Birmingham, Erdington) (Labour)
Jason McCartney (Colne Valley) (Con)
Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford) (Con)
Jess Phillips (Birmingham, Yardley) (Labour)
Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar & Limehouse) (Labour)
Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP)
Jo Stevens (Cardiff Central) (Labour)
John Spellar (Warley) (Labour)
Karin Smyth (Bristol South) (Labour)
Karl Turner (Kingston upon Hull East) (Labour)
Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) (Labour)
Marie Rimmer (St Helens South & Whiston) (Labour)
Mark Tami (Alyn & Deeside) (Lab)
Mary Creagh (Wakefield) (Lab)
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con)
Mike Kane (Wythenshawe and Sale East) (Lab)
Naz Shah (Bradford West) (Lab)
Nia Griffith (Llanelli) (Lab)
Nick Thomas-Symonds (Torfaen) (Lab)
Paula Sherriff (Dewsbury) (Lab)
Penny Mordaunt (Portsmouth North) (Con)
Peter Aldous (Waveney) (Con)
Peter Dowd (Bootle) (Labour)
Philip Davies (Shipley) (Cons)
Rosie Winterton (Doncaster Central) (Labour)
Rupa Huq (Ealing Central & Acton) (Labour)
Ruth Smeeth (Stoke-on-Trent North) (Lab)
Toby Perkins (Chesterfield) (Lab)
Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland) (Lab)
Victoria Atkins (Louth & Horncastle) (Con)
Victoria Borwick (Kensington) (Con)
Wes Streeting (Ilford North) (Lab)
Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield) (Lab)

 

MPs that attended the debate included:

Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham South) (Labour)        
Byron Davies (Gower) (Conservative)        
Caroline Flint (Don Valley) (Labour)        
Carolyn Harris (Swansea East) (Labour)        
Chris Elmore (Ogmore) (Labour)        
David Hanson (Delyn) (Labour)        
Dianne Abbott (Hackney North & Stoke Newington) (Labour)
George Howarth (Knowsley) (Labour)        
Gerald Jones (Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney) (Labour)        
Ian Paisley (North Antrim) (DUP)            
Judith Cummins (Bradford South) (Labour)        
Jeff Smith (Manchester, Withington) (Labour)        
Jason McCartney (Colne Valley) (Conservative)
Keith Vaz (Leicester East) (Labour)        
Jess Phillips (Birmingham, Yardley) (Labour)        
Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe) (Labour)        
Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP)            
Sarah Champion (Rotherham) (Labour)        
Sharon Hodgson (Washington and Sunderland West) (Labour)
Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West) (Labour)        
Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham, Deptford) (Labour)
Nick Thomas-Symonds (Torfaen) (Labour)        
Paula Sherriff (Dewsbury) (Labour)
Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland) (Labour)