Attacks on Sheffield police officers prompts call for new legislation to protect emergency workers

Zuleika Payne
Zuleika Payne

Three attacks on Sheffield police officers last weekend have led to calls for new legislation to protect emergency workers.

Last weekend, two Sheffield police officers were spat at and another was kicked during incidents in Sheffield.

Offenders spat at two police officers in their faces and kicked another.

No other details have been released.

But Zuleika Payne, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, which represents rank and file bobbies, said: “Sadly incidents of this nature are becoming a common occurrence.

"What this illustrates is the need to have specific legislation for police officers and emergency service workers, hence our Protect the Protectors campaign.”

The Police Federation campaign, which was launched in February, calls for a change in legislation for tougher sentences for those who assault emergency service workers.

The campaign also calls for better training for those on the frontline and access to more equipment such as Tasers, body worn video and spit guards.

Police Federation figures suggest that nationally a police officer is assaulted every four minutes.

Launching the campaign, Vice Chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "Police officers face extraordinary situations and risks every day and these can often happen in the blink of an eye.

"Quite simply an assault on a police officer or any other emergency worker is abhorrent and should never be seen as a part of the role they perform for the public.

"We are not satisfied that the legal system treats these matters with the severity they deserve and are calling for a holistic review of sentencing guidelines and legislative changes to protect our officers and those other public servants who work daily for the benefit of the communities they serve."