29 July 2021
More than 630 assaults were committed against Derbyshire police officers last year, new figures have revealed.
Office for National Statistics data showed 196 of the attacks left officers injured while there were 436 non-injury assaults to give a total of 632 for the year ending in March 2021.
The statistics also show there were almost 37,000 assaults on police officers across all forces in England and Wales during the same 12 -month period.
Of these, 11,235 were crimes of “assault with injury on a constable” while 25,734 were “assault without injury on a constable” - an increase of 21 per cent on the previous year.
Derbyshire Police Federation chair Tony Wetton said: “Assaults on police officers are totally unacceptable but, as the latest figures show, are becoming more and more commonplace.
“An attack on a police officer, or any other emergency service worker, while they are trying to do their job is an attack on society itself.
“We have seen our members punched, kicked, spat on and coughed at and we will never accept such abuse as simply ‘part of the job’.
“Our members have shown extraordinary courage and determination throughout the pandemic and under no circumstances should they have to face aggressive and hostile behaviour from the public.”
National chair John Apter, said: “Throughout the pandemic we have witnessed police officers being subjected to a disgusting level of violence. We now have the figures to prove just how dire the situation has been for my colleagues on the ground.
“More than 100 of my colleagues are assaulted every single day, that’s a staggering number and something society must not accept. Many of these recorded attacks involve vile individuals who have spat on or coughed at police officers, weaponising the virus and threatening to spread it to them and their families.
“The sentencing guidelines have been changed and I would urge judges and magistrates to use these powers to set an example to those who are assaulting our colleagues, those responsible must spend time in prison. This unjustified violence is a stain on society and needs to be dealt with robustly.”
The Government has pledged to increase the maximum sentence from 12 months to two years for assaults on emergency workers through the Police, Crime,
Sentencing and Courts Bill.
And for the first time, judges and magistrates in England and Wales will be given specific guidance for sentencing offenders convicted of assault on emergency service workers under new advice from the Sentencing Council.
In November 2018 the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act doubled the maximum penalty for common assault from six to 12 months.
The legislation covers police, prison staff, custody officers, firefighters, search and rescue workers and frontline health workers.
Assault can include acts such as a push, shove or being spat at, as well as more serious injuries that can lead to far longer sentences.