Campaign to reduce assaults on police officers after it is revealed 15 are assaulted - including being coughed on and spat at - in just five days

Police chiefs have pledged to do all they can to protect officers after an increase in assaults on staff in Lincolnshire

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 5:48 pm
Police

Over the past week, Lincolnshire police said they have seen a sharp rise in the number of police officer assaults in the county - including 15 attacks in just five days.

Since October 2020, there have been 154 recorded assaults on police officers and staff. This translates to a stark figure of at least five officers being assaulted every week in Lincolnshire. Although punching, kicking, and spiting are among the most frequent types of attacks, we have also seen a rise in incidents where officers and staff are coughed on by individuals claiming to be infected with Covid-19.

The latest figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) reveal that assaults on emergency workers have risen by 14% year on year.

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A new policy which aims to investigate all crimes against officers and staff, combined with an enhanced welfare package to support those affected was launched in October last year in a bid to protect police.

Working in collaboration with the Police Federation, the new policy puts the employee at the centre of the investigation, treating them as a victim of crime and continuing to thoroughly investigate offences including physical assaults, sexual assaults, racial abuse or hate crime.

Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin said: “Assaulting any emergency worker isn’t acceptable. The number of assaults on our officers and staff over the weekend continues to show the risk of carrying out the important role of protecting the public from harm and enforcing the law.

“We continue to support our officers and staff who have been assaulted through ensuring their welfare following each incident. Assaults against police officers and staff are not part of the job and we continue to work hard to protect all officers and staff who work for Lincolnshire Police.”

Inspector Barry Steele of the Lincolnshire Police Federation said: “Tackling the rise in assaults against our officers is something the Federation have been lobbying hard for both locally and nationally, it is simply unacceptable that assaulting emergency workers happens with the frequency it does.

“Raising the sentence for such assaults from six months imprisonment to a year is an element of the Police and Crime and Courts Bill currently going through parliament that the Police Federation have fought long and hard for. We will continue to strive to ensure that those who think assaulting officers exercising their duties is somehow ok and normal are arrested, charged and convicted.”