90 days from today is Sun, 26 May 2024
5 August 2020
New figures show that there were 561 assaults on Surrey Police officers in 2019/20.
The figures, published in the Office for National Statistics’ report ‘Crime in England and Wales’, are slightly down on the 2018/19 numbers for Surrey, when 659 assaults were recorded.
However the authors of the report say that this is likely to be an underestimate of the total number of assaults, as many officers view assaults “as part of the job” and do not bother to raise a crime record. It is also not always possible for forces to identify whether the police officer was on- or off-duty at the time of the assault.
Melanie Warnes, Chair of Surrey Police Federation, said: “Figures may be slightly down on last year, but any assault is unacceptable for our colleagues.
“Sentencing does need to be increased as a deterrent. However, as I have stated before, the judicial system needs to support that and deal with these individuals in the right way that sends a message to all – that assaulting the police or any emergency service worker is unacceptable and that you will face a term in prison.”
Of the 561 assaults recorded in Surrey, 135 were classed as ‘assault with injury on a constable’ and 426 as ‘assault without injury on a constable’. Nationwide, in 2019/20 there were over 30,000 assaults on police officers in England and Wales (including British Transport Police but excluding Greater Manchester Police).
Melanie said: “An assault on a police officer affects more than just that person. It has an effect on their colleagues, as well as their family and friends, who they go home to battered and bruised.
“It is also the hidden effect that the assaults have on the officers and their families’ mental health, with families fearing the worst every time their loved one goes to work.”