12 October 2020
“We need tougher sentences to get the message across.”
That’s the reaction of the Chair of Cumbria Police Federation after a man was jailed for 36 weeks for biting and gouging an off-duty Cumbria Police officer.
The officer restrained Thomas Dempsey after he saw him fleeing a shop where he had stolen perfume. But Dempsey struggled and told the officer he would “smash his head in”. He then bit the officer’s hand and gouged his eye.
The officer shouted for members of the public to assist him, but nobody came to his aid.
Cumbria Police Federation Chair Paul Williams said: “I’m quite vocal in what I think about people who are assaulting our members on a regular basis. It’s on the increase, it’s getting worse, and for me a prison sentence is the only outcome for somebody who assaults a cop.
“Biting, spitting is the worst form of assault. My view is they should increase the prison sentence as it stands at the moment. He got 36 weeks and he’ll probably get out sooner – for me that’s not a lesson learnt. It’s good that they’re sending them to prison, it’s good that it’s being taken seriously, but I think we need tougher sentences to get that message across.”