Essex Police Federation condemns attack on officer
PUBLISHED: 17:04 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:04 22 August 2018
The Essex Police Federation has condemned an attack which left an officer with a fractured eye socket and broken nose at the weekend.
The assault happened at Clacton Leisure Centre in Vista Road on Saturday after police were called to reports that a man was acting suspiciously.
While making enquiries close to the football pitches, an officer stopped a man and was assaulted.
The man fled the scene following the assault but Essex Police have since released an image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the incident.
Steve Taylor, chairman of the federation, said: “No assault on a police officer is acceptable and we hope the cowardly perpetrator in this case is brought to justice through the courts.
“The police are the people and the people are the police so any attack is an attack on our society.
“Any time off that officers have to take off, whether it’s just for a couple of hours for a trip to A&E can have an impact on the force.”
Figures from the Home Office revealed that 756 assaults against officers were recorded by Essex Police between between April 2017 and March 2018.
Mr Taylor hailed the introduction of a new law which will allow tougher sentences for offenders following the Protect the Protectors campaign from the Police Federation of England and Wales.
The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill will be passed into law this autumn.
He said: “The fact that we are getting legislation through is really positive.”
The third reading - the final chance for the Lords to change the bill - took place on July 24 and no amendments were made.
A date when the bill will go before the Queen to become an act of parliament has not yet been set.
Stephen Kavanagh, chief constable of Essex Police, also condemned the attack on social media.
Speaking on Twitter, Mr Kavanagh urged anyone playing on the football pitches who may have information to come forward.
He said: “Absolutely disgusting. If you have any information that will help us find this person, please tell us.”
If you recognise the man pictured or have any other information about the incident please call Essex Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 42/119502/18.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org