Emergency service workers assaulted over bank holiday weekend

PUBLISHED: 09:02 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:56 07 May 2018

File photo of police. Photo: PA Wire.

File photo of police. Photo: PA Wire.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Members of the county’s emergency services faced violence over the bank holiday weekend.

On Friday evening, in King’s Lynn, police officers were called after a man was abusive to paramedics who were trying to help him after he fell off his bike.

He was arrested in Loke Road for being drunk and disorderly but while waiting for transport to custody, he lashed out and kicked an officer in the leg.

A King’s Lynn police spokesman said the man had since been charged with assaulting a police officer and being drunk and disorderly, and will appear at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court on May 21.

Also on Friday, a special constable was hurt when a motorist drove his vehicle at him in Thetford.

Darren Taylor, chief officer for Norfolk Special Constabulary, said the officer was investigating a vehicle acting suspiciously.

He said: “He went to check it out when the driver saw him approaching, went to make off driving towards him and caught him on the arm.”

The driver was later arrested for a variety of offences including driving under the influence.

CO Taylor said the officer only sustained minor injuries and while there will always be risks to the job it was important to note special constables faced the same dangers as their regular colleagues.

Between April 2017 and March 2018 515 assaults on police were recorded in Norfolk, including 113 of actual bodily harm and 19 of grievous bodily harm. While 383 were assaults which left no injury, it was a rise on 390 assaults between April 2016 and March 2017.

Norfolk chief constable Simon Bailey has described any attack as “unacceptable”.

Last month, parliament backed the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill which would introduce tougher penalties for those who attack emergency service workers.

Labour former minister Chris Bryant’s proposed legislation created a new offence for assaulting an emergency worker with a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail, which covers more emergency staff and doubles the sentence compared to existing law.

The Bill passed unanimously at third reading and will now undergo further scrutiny in the Lords.

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