Police chief condemns attacks on cops as 15 assaults are reported in South Yorkshire each week
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Assistant Chief Constable David Hartley said over the last year, officers in the county have been attacked, driven at, spat at, kicked and threatened.
He warned that those who assault officers will be ‘held responsible for their actions’.
ACC Hartley said: “Our officers leave their homes and families every day, not knowing what they might face.
“Their roles on the frontline mean that they encounter dangerous and volatile situations on a regular basis, requiring great skill and bravery and we are incredibly proud of them.
“In the last year alone, we have seen officers assaulted, driven at, spat at, kicked and threatened.
“These incidents happen both on the street and in people’s homes, usually when our officers are acting to protect or safeguard the public.
“This is not just happening in South Yorkshire, but across the country, with the people who are there to protect the most vulnerable, being attacked and assaulted.
“This is not just ‘part of the job’ and it can have a lasting impact on officers and their loved ones.
“Those who feel that this behaviour is acceptable can expect to be dealt with and held responsible for their actions, we will always endeavour to bring them before the courts.”
The Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, has described the number of assaults logged each week as ‘staggering’ and ‘appalling’.
Nationally, there were 36,969 assaults on police officers last year - a 20 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.
There were 817 assaults on police officers in South Yorkshire.
Steve Kent, chairman of the South Yorkshire branch of the Police Federation, said courts must ‘protect the protectors’ and hand out harsher sentences.
“Frustratingly, we are hearing of officers who get assaulted with injury or spat at and the culprits are getting away without a custodial sentence – and that can’t be right. We must properly protect the protectors,” he said.
“If we focus on assaults with injury, then a prison sentence for the perpetrator is the way to deal with it and it’s the only way to deal with it as far as I’m concerned.”