TIM DREW: Support for police officers is vital

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

Statistics provided recently by the Police Federation of England and Wales indicate that more than 6,600 assaults on police officers are carried out daily.

The federation’s survey of some 17,000 officers, the first of its kind, revealed that police officers in England and Wales face around 2.4 million attacks each year – which could be up to 100 times more than the Home Office had estimated.

There were over 40,000 injuries due to violence last year and, on average, an assault happens every four minutes.

Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne commented: “Police officers go out every day knowing they could be placing themselves in danger so it is vital that they have the equipment, training and support to protect them while they’re doing their jobs.

“And let’s not forget about our other emergency service workers on the frontline such as paramedics, nurses and firefighters, who all deserve to be treated with respect and not face the threat of violence on a daily basis.”

Last year Mrs Bourne provided funding for more than a thousand body-worn video cameras for frontline officers. Research shows that these cameras can often de-fuse a potentially violent situation.

She also referred to the Policing and Crime Act, which received royal assent at the end of January, and includes reforms to the police disciplinary and complaints systems to ensure that the public have confidence in their ability to hold the police to account and that police officers will uphold the highest standards of integrity.

It also places a new duty on police, fire and rescue and emergency ambulance services to collaborate where it is in the interests of efficiency or effectiveness.

Meanwhile, it is estimated that cyber crime will cause more harm – in terms of volume and severity – than other crimes by 2020 and Mrs Bourne stressed the need for the police to be adequately trained and equipped to deal with it.

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