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'Attacks on emergency workers are abhorrent' - Six police officers assaulted in Norfolk overnight

PUBLISHED: 16:56 10 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:44 11 February 2018

Inspector Lou Provart said five officers were assaulted on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich, while another was attacked in Kings Lynn. Photo: Archant

Inspector Lou Provart said five officers were assaulted on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich, while another was attacked in Kings Lynn. Photo: Archant

Archant

Six police officers were assaulted in Norfolk last night, including one sergeant who was punched in the mouth.

Norfolk Police and Crime Commisssioner Lorne Green.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYNorfolk Police and Crime Commisssioner Lorne Green. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Inspector Lou Provart said five officers were assaulted on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich, while another was attacked in King’s Lynn.

He said there had been multiple arrests for assault overnight in each of the cases.

King’s Lynn Police said one of its officers was attacked in north Lynn by a “violent suspected drink driver”.

In a Twitter post, it said a man was sprayed with PAVA, which is similar to pepper spray, but he then went on to punch officers.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey at Norfolk Constabulary Headquarters, Wymondham. Photo : Steve AdamsChief Constable Simon Bailey at Norfolk Constabulary Headquarters, Wymondham. Photo : Steve Adams

Mr Provart said a sergeant in King’s Lynn was punched in the mouth.

But he added that there were no “serious injuries” caused to officers.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey said: “This is bitterly disappointing, my colleagues are simply doing their job. It is totally unacceptable that they should have to be subjected to this, or any other form of abuse.”

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Lorne Green added: “Attacks on emergency workers who are committed to keeping us safe are abhorrent. They shouldn’t have to turn up to work in our behalf and face this kind of thuggery. We must all of us demand that parliament and the courts respond robustly.”

Last month, the chairman of the Norfolk Police Federation called for tougher sentencing and a change in legislation to protect officers.

It followed reports that 17 officers were assaulted over the festive period.

Andy Symonds, Chairman of the federation said: “Officers are simply fed up of turning up for duty in an ever demanding job, working hard to protect only to be punched, kicked, and scratched, head-butted and spat at.

“Officers want protection in the form of a deterrent from the courts when they sentence offenders.”

In Norfolk 390 officers were assaulted between April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 - more than one officer every day of the year.

Norfolk Police Federation said it believes the actual number is higher since some officers do not report crimes committed against them because they feel violence is an inevitable part of the job.

The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) private members bill, put forward by Chris Bryant MP, received its second reading in Parliament on October 20, 2017.

The bill will aim 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.

• A 45-year-old King’s Lynn man has been charged with assaulting two police officers and failing to provide a breath specimen.

He will be appearing before magistrates on April 5.

• Updates to follow

• Did you see what happened? Email luke.powell@archant.co.uk

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