Assaults on police officers rises once again.

A man who violently attacked a police officer has been jailed this week. He repeatedly hit the police officer with a metal pole on his head leaving him with a head injury. The sentence he received for an attack on an emergency service worker was four months. Four months is what that police officer’s life is worth. The suspect had imprisoned a woman and repeatedly assaulted her before she managed to escape, of which he received four years for.

This assault once again highlights the dangers our police officers face when doing their job. It further more highlights that after their assault they don’t often get the justice they should in court.

From 1 of April 2020 to 31 March 2021 7,191 police officers were victims of assault. That works out to 7 a day. This is an 8% increase from the previous year.

There were 1147 assaults of which 120 required hospital treatment.

If this has not yet shocked you perhaps we can add to this and look at the issue of coughing and spitting at police officers with the additional factor of the now ever present Covid threat.

From the 20th of March 2020 to March 2021 there have been 102 incidents that involved coughing at an officer with 152 incidents that now mentioned coughing with the threat of Covid.

There were 51 incidents that involved spitting at an officer and 168 that mentioned the threat of Covid. Fortunately 137 of these have resulted in the suspect being charged. 85 trials were completed and 62% of the suspects received custodial sentences.

Is it acceptable to spit at an emergency service worker for doing their job? Clearly not. It is also not acceptable to assault them or key workers for doing their job. Yet this has become an ever trending fashion sadly.

Operation Hampshire was launched in March 2016 to improve the Met’s response to incidents where officers and staff are assaulted on duty. As part of this, they have improved the support provided to officers who are victims of these assaults. They are working with the CPS to pursue justice and emphasising their premise that being assaulted is not ‘part of the job’.

A met Spokesperson told the Havering Daily:

“Officers should be able to go about their work, protecting the public, without fear of abuse or attack. Unfortunately, that is not the reality and officers are regularly the victims of unacceptable physical assaults. These incidents can have a long-term physical and psychological impact on officers.

Throughout the pandemic, there have been a growing number of protests and UMEs across the capital. Most have been dispersed peacefully but there have been a number of instances where the crowd have become violent towards officers and assaults have occurred; this violence is unacceptable.

We have a strong stance on the small minority that are insistent on causing trouble – violence has consequences. Violence against officers will not be tolerated and will be dealt with using the full weight of the law. Investigations are ongoing and hundreds of arrests have already been made.”

Throughout the pandemic emergency service workers and keyworkers have been the ones keeping our society going. They have been the ones still out there on the frontline working in tremendously difficult conditions with the ever present fear of catching Covid. Yet they are the ones that have faced the highest levels of assaults across our capital.

Let’s just get this straight, assaults on any emergency service worker is not acceptable.

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