Chief Constable Lee Freeman has welcomed a new law which will see harsher sentences for those who attack officers in the line of duty.
The Assaults on Emergency Workers Emergency Workers (Offences) Act came into effect this week. It not only covers police officers but also attacks on all 999 staff and volunteers.
“Whilst we are the police and we do expect to run towards danger, it is not acceptable that we should experience such violence whilst doing our job. We must take a stand against this.”
“The levels of violence we’re experiencing can at times be extremely serious. The personal impact on those assaulted should not be underestimated.”
“Police officers and staff are all real people with families. Every one of those injured this weekend is a mother, father, son daughter or grandparent.”
“They are victims of crime the same as anyone is. Their physical and mental wellbeing is affected by such experiences.”
“I have to protect my officers and staff. Every bit of and support available will be given to anyone who is assaulted at work.”
In the past twelve months, figures show that over 26,000 police officers were attacked while 12,000 NHS staff were assaulted.
As a result of the new law, sentences have been doubled for those who attack emergency staff. Now anyone found guilty can expect to face up to 12 rather than 6 months behind bars.
Chief Constable Lee Freeman Spoke Out After 11 Officers Attacked In One Weekend
Last month CC Freeman took to Twitter because 11 of his officers were assaulted in one weekend. One of those attacks included a dog handler being headbutted.
He also said that if he needed to arm all his officers with a Taser then that would be a conversation he was prepared to have.
Police officers are certainly not alone in being subjected to this treatment by the public they are there to protect.
Ambulance and the fire service crews also face aggressive and violent behaviour from the public while carrying out their duties.
Those working for the emergency services see the new law as the first step to clamping down on this appalling behaviour.