19 June 2020
The Home Secretary has personally thanked three Federation members who were assaulted while serving the public and told them police officers have her ‘full backing and support.’
Priti Patel spoke to the officers during a video conference call with John Apter after contacting the National Chair and asking to speak directly with assault victims.
The Home Secretary reiterated her strong backing for increased sentences for offenders who attack emergency workers. She also pledged to strengthen the protection and support offered to police officers after hearing the personal accounts.
Along with local Federation branches, Mr Apter organised the online event to highlight the need for lengthier sentences for offenders who attack emergency workers and to ensure officers who were assaulted are given the support they need.
Mr Apter said: “We’ve seen an increase in police officers being injured by 27% and on average 85 police officers were assaulted every day in 2018-2019. This is totally unacceptable and why I’ve been pushing for a more meaningful deterrent with increased sentences.
“I am pleased the Home Secretary has taken the time to really understand the level of violence and vulnerability experienced by police officers, hearing the accounts of brave police officers who were assaulted while protecting the public.
“We hope with this welcome support from the Home Secretary we will see legislation introduced which will allow for harsher sentences for cowardly and vile individuals who assault emergency workers.”
During the call, the Home Secretary individually thanked all three officers and vowed to continue to support increased sentencing for assaults on officers and emergency service workers.
She added: “Be rest assured that you’ve got my full backing and support. Anything we can do to strengthen protection for officers is absolutely my focus – I am here to make that happen.
“I would like to give you all my personal thanks and gratitude for everything you did, as the work you do is so integral to the community.”
The Home Secretary heard from West Yorkshire PC Michael Caulfield who was left worried about catching coronavirus when he was coughed at by a man who claimed to have Covid-19. The offender was later jailed for 12 weeks after admitting the assault.
A Police Sergeant from Wales, who cannot be named for legal reasons and is currently on sick leave, told the Home Secretary how he was stabbed on duty and suffered wounds to the abdomen and massive blood loss during an incident.
The third account came from a Wiltshire PC who was one of three officers attacked and injured while attending a pub, following reports there were people inside despite Coronavirus legislation.