Hundreds of cases of assault on police officers in the last year
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of police officers have been assaulted in Suffolk’s streets in the last year, shocking figures have shown.
The figures cataloguing the number of assaults on officers in the county during 2018, show there were 430 incidents.
In total, 93 assaults caused injury to officers, including 77 counts of violence causing actual bodily harm, with a further 10 cases of grievous bodily harm leaving officers with minor injuries.
Police have condemned the figures, while highlighting the courage of officers carrying out their duties.
Assistant chief constable David Cutler said: "One assault against an officer is too many. They should be able to carry out their duties without fear of being assaulted.
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"We should see an assault on an officer, or on any emergency worker, as an assault against the public as a whole."
ACC Cutler added that the sentence length for those who assault emergency workers doubled from six months to 12 months last November, and added some officers return to duty after being victims of assault.
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"I've seen some officers assaulted back to work the day after they were attacked," ACC Cutler said. "That is a testament to their commitment."
Figures were worse for Norfolk, with 148 of 575 assaults causing injuries - totalling more than 1,000 assaults in the two counties in a single year.
A spokesman for Suffolk's branch of the Police Federation, which offers support to officers, said: "430 officers being assaulted is more than one in three officers being assaulted in Suffolk in 2018. This is 430 too many and 93 with injury, some of which will be serious.
"For sometime now we have been running the protect the protectors campaign which is highlighting that any assault on any emergency worker is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.
"We have been successful in getting stronger sentencing powers for assaults on emergency workers. This is good step forward but we still need to make these assaults unacceptable in society. We have a strong support for policing in Suffolk from the majority of its residents and it is the minority of people carrying out these attacks."
The constabulary was unable to issue figures for previous years.