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Norfolk Police Federation

Federation Chair: Let's get consistent deterrent sentences to those who assault police officers

19 May 2021

“I’m fed up with others saying it’s unacceptable to assault a police officer - well then let’s get consistent deterrent sentences handed out to those guilty of assaulting my colleagues.”

There's been a staggering 19% increase in assaults on emergency workers. The rise – according to the National Police Chiefs Council - is thought to be driven by increases in common assaults on police officers, including suspects spitting on officers while claiming to be infected with Covid-19

Andy Symonds, Chairman of Norfolk Police Federation, gives his reaction.

Andy states: “On behalf of the officers I represent I am frustrated that we’ve seen a continual rise on assaults on my colleagues. This rise is even more worrying in that we’ve seen a huge rise in people spitting at officers followed up with the verbal threat that they have Covid.

“What a completely despicable act which is so disgusting and vile that it deserves the full force of the law being applied consistently when it comes to sentences handed down from Magistrates and Judges. Sadly this is not the case currently and we see the shocking stories of officers being violently attacked and having serious injuries as a result.

“The offenders are then not given a sentence proportionate to the act they committed against my colleagues. I cannot fathom why these types of sentences are being handed down. It’s not that they do not have the option of handing out a bigger sentence it seems to be that we see too often lenient sentences handed out.

“This impacts on police officers as the victims but also emboldens these offenders to do it again or gives a green light to others to think that if they assault an officer they won’t end up with any sort of sentence that would make then think twice about committing the assault in the first place. I’m fed up with others saying it’s unacceptable to assault a police officer, well then let’s get consistent deterrent sentences handed out to those guilty of assaulting my colleagues.

“The sentencing council have a part to play in giving clear guidance to Magistrates and Judges. Under our #ProtectTheProtectors campaign we’ve managed to win our argument that there is a need to again increase the starting sentences for those guilty of assaulting an emergency service worker.

“The Government have this in the current bill going through Parliament at the moment.”