New figures reveal more than 500 assaults on Norfolk police officers in the past year
PUBLISHED: 10:37 09 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:02 09 August 2018
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Police officers in Norfolk faced more than 500 assaults last year, new figures show.
Figures from the Home Office show that between April 2017 and March 2018, 518 assaults against officers were recorded by Norfolk Constabulary.
Of those, 136 caused injury. It is the first time that assaults causing injury to police officers have been recorded separately from those against members of the public.
Meanwhile, figures show that over the same period there were 341 assaults recorded against officers recorded in Suffolk.
Across England and Wales, 72 assaults on police officers took place every day in 2017-18.
Assault against an officer without injury is recorded as a distinct offence.
Numbers have been published since 2015-16, and they show a small increase in recent years. In 2017-18, 382 offences were recorded, 4% more than in 2015-16.
The Police Federation has hailed the introduction of a new law which will allow tougher sentences for offenders, saying that officers should not have to consider assault “just part of the job”.
The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill will be passed into law this autumn.
Under it, the fact that assaults are committed against emergency workers will be taken into account when sentencing offenders, potentially leading to tougher sentences.
John Apter, the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “Any attack on a police officer is unacceptable.
“And while I am glad that the ONS and the Home Office are improving their data collation regarding assaults on police officers I do not believe that these figures represent anywhere near the true picture of the level of violence our members face on a daily basis.”
Chief Constable Andy Rhodes, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on wellbeing, said: “We are optimistic that the Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill, when introduced, will go some way to protecting our staff.”