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West Midlands Police Federation

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Officer assaults up, despite fall in crime figures

23 July 2020

West Midlands Police Federation chair Jon Nott has expressed his anger and frustration that assaults on police officers and other emergency service workers have continued to increase despite an overall fall in crime.

Provisional figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) show that police recorded crime for the 43 forces in England and Wales has fallen by 18 per cent overall in the four weeks until 7 June 2020 when compared to the same period last year.

However, assaults on emergency service workers increased by 24 per cent.

“It makes me angry to think that while police officers and their blue light colleagues have been on the front-line seeking to protect both their communities and the NHS there is a mindless minority of people who seem to think it’s OK to assault them,” says Jon.

“It can never be acceptable for someone to assault the very people who are seeking to help others but, in the current crisis, it is just even more frustrating that our officers are having to face this type of despicable behaviour.

“The increases in these offences could well be driven by cases where people have spat on or towards officers while claiming to be infected with COVID-19 and, again, it just beggars belief that people would do this.”

Jon said the increase in assaults on emergency service workers could also include some assaults related to disorder at a number of protests around the country.

In terms of the overall crime figures, there was a slight increase in recent months, perhaps as a result of the easing of lockdown restrictions. There had been a 28 per cent fall in recorded crime for the four weeks to 12 April and a 25 per cent fall for the four weeks to 10 May. This is likely due to the effect of lockdown restrictions easing and more people being allowed out of their homes, creating more opportunities for criminals.

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