Cumbria Police Federation

Police officer assaults up by 31% 'staggering and sickening' says Federation Chair

3 September 2020

Police officer assaults have increased by a worrying 31% in July compared with last year, new figures have shown.

The rise may be driven by increases in common assaults on police constables, including suspects spitting on officers while claiming to be infected with Covid-19, the National Police Chiefs’ Council said, as part of its analysis of crime data provided by the 43 forces in England and Wales in the four weeks to 2 August.

Paul Williams, Chairman of Cumbria Police Federation, said: “The rise in assaults on Police Officers is staggering and sickening. The message is clearly not getting out there how it’s unacceptable to assault a police officer just doing their duty and our cops need more intense backing and support.

“Considering a harsher penalty is not a deterrent it needs to be a mandatory prison sentence that is substantial enough to make those despicable individuals think twice. During COVID we have had many instances of officers being spat at with the culprit stating they have COVID. That is sick and unforgivable.”

370 Cumbria Police officers were assaulted last year. That’s one police officer each and every day.

Paul added: “The CPS and courts need to wake up to this. These are hard-working individuals doing a very stressful job protecting the public and the right support when they are physically assaulted is seriously lacking. Our police officers have to suffer risk of this almost every day they go to work in a long 35 year career. This should not be taken for granted and much more needs to be done.”

Che Donald, Vice Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “We are absolutely appalled by the huge surge in assaults against emergency workers.

“Police officers and other emergency workers who serve the public do not deserve to be assaulted for simply doing their jobs.

“This who commit these despicable offences must be harshly dealt with by the courts and face the full force of the law.”

NPCC Chair, Martin Hewitt said: “I am disgusted to see an increase in assaults on emergency service workers who are the frontline in protecting us all including from this deadly virus. We will use the full force of the law to prosecute anyone who uses violence against those who are on the front line.”

The figures also showed that police recorded crime was seven per cent lower than in the same period as 2019, as lockdown measures have eased.