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Sussex Police Federation

Sussex sees 48% rise in assaults on police officers over past 4 weeks

29 April 2020

Assaults on emergency service workers in Sussex have risen by 48% over the past four weeks, new figures show.

Nationally there has been a 25% increase in assaults on emergency workers over the same period, while the country has been on Covid-19 lockdown.

Matt Webb, Chairman of Sussex Police Federation, said: “I believed there had been a rise in the number of offences we were seeing, but I had no idea it was as high as a 48% increase.

“I have spoken before about my belief that the lenient sentencing of offenders convicted of assaults on police and other emergency service workers sends out the wrong message.

“It gives a signal to those willing to commit such offences that police officers and other emergency service workers are ‘fair game’ because the courts don’t see such incidents as serious.”

Matt said he believed these lenient sentences eventually led to an increase in such crimes.

“In Sussex, where I have identified a number of cases that should have received harsher sentences, the increase is 48%, which is nearly double that of the national figure,” he said.

“My plea now to the magistrates and judges, on behalf of my members and our colleagues in our partner agencies, is understand what lenient sentences are doing and start locking up the vile creatures who commit these offences against public servants who are just doing their jobs.

“We have been asking this for too long. We have successfully lobbied Parliament, and the Government have recognised the seriousness of these offences – they have changed the law, doubled the maximum sentence available and publicly promised to double it again.

 

“An assault on an emergency services worker is an assault on society; these people put themselves in harm’s way to protect their communities. My request to the courts is simple – treat these offences with the seriousness they deserve, protect our emergency service workers and help us to save lives.”