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How Suffolk police officers were bitten, slapped and spat as they tried to do their jobs

PUBLISHED: 19:30 01 January 2020

Police officers were bitten, butted and had boiling water aimed at them in a string of attacks last year. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown (Stock image)

Police officers were bitten, butted and had boiling water aimed at them in a string of attacks last year. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown (Stock image)

Archant

Being grabbed by the genitals, punched in the face and attacked with boiling water - this is the reality of being a police officer in Suffolk in 2019.

In figures released through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, Suffolk Constabulary has revealed that in the first eight months of 2019 there were 313 recorded assaults on officers in the county.

The attacks included butting, kicking, biting, slapping and spitting - one officer reported 'being able to taste blood' after a suspect managed to spit in their mouth.

Three officers were put into headlocks by suspects. Another was kicked in the head after restraining a suspect on the floor.

During one altercation, the suspect went as far as deliberately projecting their snot at an officer.

One suspect threw a kettle full of boiling water at officers and threatened to pour tea on them.

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Two officers were grabbed by the groin.

Temporary Detective Chief Constable, Simon Megicks, said: "It is completely unacceptable to assault a person who is simply going out to do their job and do their best to serve the community.

"Part of their role is to support, work with and protect the public and we will take action against those people who attack officers and staff to secure a prosecution and bring the perpetrators to justice.

"Fortunately, the majority of these incidents do not end in serious injury; however, it will not be tolerated and as a force we will continue to work towards reducing the amount of physical attacks officers and staff have to face whilst serving the public in the county."

These attacks led to 226 charges being made in the first eight months of 2019 alone.

While some attacks did not cause injury, 52 were serious enough to be considered actual bodily harm (ABH) - with one so serious it was deemed to be grievous bodily harm (GBH).

"Officers and relevant operational police staff receive extensive training to reduce the likelihood of them being victims of assault," added T/DCC Simon Megicks added.

"As part of their initial training they receive guidance which includes tactical communications training, how to position themselves at an incident to minimise the risk of harm and how to use all their personal safety equipment appropriately."

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