Friday, 14 October 2016

More must be done to tackle assaults on Police Officers



MY colleague Halifax MP, Holly Lynch has called on the government to take steps to keep Police Officers safe from attacks after an event in Parliament which highlighted the shocking extent of the problem.

I joined her at the ‘Protect the Protectors’ event in Parliament which Holly organised to discuss the latest assault figures with members of the Police Federation and serving Police Officers and how violence towards the police affected their ability to protect their communities.


The most recent Home Office figures on police officer assaults are for the financial year 2015/16. They show that there were approximately 23,000 assaults on Police Officers with over 500 assaults in Lancashire.

Lancashire Police do a great job, faced with deep Tory cuts they are often left isolated and dealing with incidents which can often be violent members of the public.



However even this is thought to be an underestimate as the Home Office believe that many assaults go unreported. In addition some police forces do not collect data recording the total number of assaults meaning that the national figures provide an incomplete picture of the situation.

Nick Smart, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents police officers said:

"An assault on a police officer is an assault on society and more needs to be done to keep them safe."

"Officers accept the risk and the public also understand the dangers of the job, but the amount of assaults taking place is alarming,"

Today’s campaign is about asking the Home office to record all instances of assaults on officers. This will enable us to really understand the scale of the problem, and do something about it.

We are also calling for tougher sentences for those who assault the police. The courts must be able to provide a strong deterrent against attacks on our front line officers.


NOTES:

Where regional forces collect different data, the estimated total for assaults in your area can either be found in the last column of the table, or by adding the two figures from the previous columns. (Where the figures don’t add up - you see the problem!)