South Yorkshire Police Federation calls for automatic jail sentences for attacks on cops
South Yorkshire’s Police Federation is calling for automatic jail sentences for attacks on police officers.
The organisation, which represents the interests of rank and file officers, is calling for mandatory jail terms to help tackle ‘inconsistencies’ in sentencing.
Chairman Steve Kent said officers across England and Wales were subjected to more assaults last year than before, with many said to be ‘Covid aggravated’ – where officers were deliberately spat at and coughed upon.
Officers have been spat at and coughed on alongside being punched, kicked, attacked and assaulted with weapons.
It is felt by some that not all assaults on blue light workers have received the punishment the perpetrators deserved.
Mr Kent said: “We’re still seeing examples in South Yorkshire of lenient sentences, and we’re seeing them across the country.
“While we welcome the courts’ increased powers and increased sentencing powers until there’s a mandatory sentence that comes with an offence, then this behaviour isn’t going to go anywhere.
“I understand South Yorkshire Police and the senior command team in the force constantly are speaking to the senior people within the Crown Prosecution Service and within the courts in Sheffield to try and make sure that people are dealt with robustly when they’re found guilty of these offences.
“But sadly, we still see inconsistencies, and so we just really need that base protection which is what a mandatory sentence would do.”
He added: “Mandatory jail time is the only way to stop seeing these ridiculous stories of officers suffering life-changing scars and life-changing injuries and the people who did it to them getting away with pretty much nothing.
“It has a massive effect on officer morale. It really angers them, and understandably so.
“They have a right to be protected in going out and giving up their health and wellbeing to try and protect the public, so they deserve a little bit back.”
PC Dan Lumley was left scarred for life when he was attacked by 29-year-old Adam Burgin in Thrybergh, Rotherham, last September, following reports that the thug was armed with a baseball bat and threatening to kill members of his family.
His attacker was jailed for 20 months.