Jail Should Be Mandatory After Assaulting Police
12 May 2021
The increase in assaults on police officers is a “tragic reflection on society” and prison sentences should be mandatory for offenders, Cumbria Police Federation has said.
Chairman Paul Williams was speaking after it emerged there has been a staggering 19% rise in the number of assaults on emergency workers.
According to figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPPC), the rise has been driven by an increase in common assault – including suspects spitting on officers while claiming to be infected with COVID-19.
Paul said: “This increase is a tragic reflection on society and it cannot be swept under the carpet. I am sickened by daily reports of assaults on our members who aren’t doing anything other than upholding law and order and protecting the public.”
The Government has now doubled the maximum sentence for an assault on an emergency worker to two years, but Paul said there was an inconsistency on how sentences were handed down in court, with many offenders not receiving prison terms.
He continued: “The word ‘unacceptable’ is being used too lightly and it’s about time serious action was taken. This is not part of the job as a police officer. This is not something that deserves such a lack of parity with outcomes in courts, and this is not something that can be allowed to continue.”
“Targeted violence of spitting while stating COVID infection, throwing missiles and using weapons is direct and intended to cause serious harm. We don’t tolerate this towards members of the public, so why has this become a culture where it is seen as normal in policing duties?
“A 19% increase is appalling and this summer indicates that this will increase. Prison sentencing should be mandatory and substantial.”
NPCC Chair Martin Hewitt said offenders found guilty of assaulting police officers should expect to face the “full force of the law”.
He said: “As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, there continues to be a concerning rise in assaults against emergency service workers. This is unacceptable.
“We will use the full force of the law to prosecute anyone who uses violence against those who are on the front line.
“Officers and staff are out in communities, working in challenging circumstances, and I am grateful for their continued hard work.