Officers spat at in King’s Lynn given all-clear amid calls for tougher sentences
PUBLISHED: 11:47 18 March 2018 | UPDATED: 14:23 18 March 2018
Police officers have been given the all-clear after being spat at and assaulted as they arrested a man in King’s Lynn.
The man, who was described as a hepatitis C sufferer, spat in a female officer’s face during the incident in the town’s Loke Road.
He also spat at one of her colleagues and kneed another officer in the genitals as they fought to contain him.
The suspect was taken to the police investigation centre at Saddlebow, while officers went to A&E for a check-up.
They were given the all-clear by medical staff, who said the risk of infection was low.
The incident is the latest in a rising tide of violence against officers, including spitting.
On Thursday, a detainee spat blood into an officer’s face from 30cm away whilst in custody in Norwich.
Sgt Mark Shepherd, community sergeant for Norwich East, later tweeted: “Utterly disgusting assault on one of my officers.
“The arrested individual has been charged with assaulting police and a few other offences. Captured all on body worn video. Lets hope it gets played in court.”
Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green and the county’s chief constable Simon Bailey are leading calls for tougher sentences for those who assault officers.
“Nobody gets paid to work in the morning to be assaulted,” said Mr Green. “No-one wants officers sitting in A&E, we want them on the front line keeping us safe.”
A private member’s bill to increase sentences goes before MPs next month.
“That bill would increase sentences from the current six months to 12 months for anyone assaulting an emergency worker,” said Mr Green. “I think it should be five years - it’s abhorrent.”
Mr Green has urged people to ask their MP to support the private member’s bill.
Labour MP Chris Bryant, who proposed it, said that assaults on police and paramedics were a “national disgrace”.
The government is expected to back the bill, which safeguards police, firefighters, ambulance workers and search and rescue personnel.
The proposed legislation also creates the power to take blood samples from those who spit. It also allows judges to treat the fact the victim was an emergency worker as an aggravating factor.
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