Essex Police officers punched and spat at in series of attacks over weekend

Assistant chief constable, Andy Prophet. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Assistant chief constable, Andy Prophet. Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: Essex Police

Twelve Essex Police officers were kicked, punched and spat at over the weekend in a series of attacks slammed as “disgusting” by bosses.

Officers from varying ranks came away injured after responding to incidents across the county – with one man ending up in hospital for anti-viral treatment after a woman spat in his face.

Michael Galbraith, 31 and of Cann Hall Road in Leytonstone was charged with assaulting a police officer after three reported being injured at an address in Jaywick’s Belsize Avenue on Saturday night.

A group of officers were responding to reports music equipment had been damaged at a party – Brian Galbraith, 40 and of Edgar Road in Bow, was also charged with criminal damage after the incident.

Essex Police Federation chairman Steve Taylor said: “It is absolutely disgusting that this has happened to our officers.

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“I can’t understand anyone that thinks it is acceptable to assault someone, especially people that were trying to help and protect them.

“Twelve of our officers were kicked, spat at, bitten and punched – increasing the need for equipment like spit guards.

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“Not only do these sort of attacks have a personal impact, they also have an impact on the force itself.

“Because there were 12 officers off the streets with injuries caused by members of the public, there were fewer on the streets to protect people.

He added: “The next few weeks are going to be rough for the officer that was spat at – it will be a fearful time for his family waiting to see if he has contracted any nasty, contagious diseases.”

Rachel Jeffrey, of Arcany Road in South Ockendon, was jailed for 29 weeks at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Monday after admitting spitting at an officer on Saturday night.

The 25-year-old spat at the policeman while he was responding to a disturbance in Galey Green – an act that led to him having to undergo anti-viral treatment in hospital.

Essex Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: “Every day our officers show courage and professionalism by putting themselves in harm’s way to protect others.

“There have been a number of occasions over the weekend that our officers have been punched, kicked and even spat at after responding to calls for help. This is completely unacceptable.”

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