Call for tougher laws to protect police officers from attacks
PUBLISHED: 07:56 23 April 2018
Calls have been renewed for tougher sentences for those who assault emergency service workers after a police officer ended up in hospital after being attacked.
A large brawl in King’s Lynn on Saturday night led to an officer receiving a knee to the face and a suspected broken nose and four people being arrested.
Norfolk Police Federation chairman Andy Symonds said assaults on police officers are increasing not only in their frequency but also their severity.
He said: “We are dealing with hardcore people who repeatedly attack officers and when there is no deterrent such as a prison stay then they will offend again without consequences.
“What starts off as swearing or a push and a shove can become more serious such as broken bones and it can have physical and mental effects on the officers.
“We often find that injured officers aren’t being treated like victims and this is a slippery slope as then it can become ‘just part of the job’ which is not acceptable.”
On Friday a man was detained in Bircham Newton for biting and spitting at a police officer and then further arrested for possession with intent to supply after a large amount of cannabis was found.
In Norfolk 390 officers were assaulted between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2017.
This week a new law which hopes to increase sentences for those who attack police officers is set to receive its third reading in Parliament.
On Friday MPs will vote on whether to pass the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) private member’s bill which hopes to increase tariffs for those who assault officers and the like from the existing six months to up to 24 months in prison.
Pc Symonds has been lobbying Norfolk’s nine MPs to ensure they all attend the vote on Friday which, if passed, would be a huge step towards protecting those on the front line of the emergency services.
The bill aims to introduce new offences including malicious wounding, grievous or actual bodily harm and common assault aggravated when carried out against a constable, firefighter, doctor, paramedic, nurse or people assisting them in their duties.