Punched, stabbed, spat at and kicked - 600 police officers attacked while on duty
Shocking figures show that nearly 600 Essex Police officers have been assaulted while on duty this year.
So far 588 officers have been attacked whilst protecting and serving the public - with some punched, kicked and even run over whilst trying to apprehend criminals and keep people safe.
The attacks on the police officers has been branded as disgusting and unacceptable with many officers being assaulted on more than one occasion and some having to take sick leave due to the injuries they have suffered.
Essex Police Chief Constable BJ Harrington said: "Since I became Chief Constable of Essex Police in 2018, I have seen some of my officers: stabbed, doused in petrol with a baying mob calling for them to be set on fire, run over, kicked, stamped on, punched, spat at, threatened, I could go on.
"Let’s not forget, police officers are made of strong stuff.
"They join the job knowing they will run into the face of danger, that they will see traumatic things, and many of my officers turn up for their next duty a matter of hours after they have been attacked on the front line."
In 2020 a total of 868 officers were assaulted whilst on duty and in 2019 a total of 774 attacks on officers took place.
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Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “This increase of assaults on our police officers saddens me and we really must do more as a society to protect those who protect us.
"Everyday police officers walk towards danger to help the vulnerable with no thought for their own safety.
"I hope that all those officers know that most of the people of Essex really do appreciate what they do and are as sickened as me when they hear about these incidents.
"On behalf of those residents I would like to say thank you to every single person in Essex who works to keep the county safe and know that we support you.
“In my next Police and Crime Plan I am proposing to do everything we can as a community so that police officers, staff and volunteers are supported and recognised for the contribution they make to keeping our county safe.
"I back the proposed Police Covenant, will be pushing to double the sentences for assaults on Emergency Service Workers and will be supporting and investing in health and wellbeing services, acknowledging the difficult and challenging situations that officers and staff may experience in the course of their duties."