Po­lice boss’s anger at ‘evil’ PC as­saults

Kent Messenger Maidstone - - FRONT PAGE - By El­lis Stephen­son es­tephen­son@thek­m­group.co.uk @Re­porterEl­lisKM

Kent’s Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner has branded crim­i­nals who as­sault po­lice “evil” – as it emerges the num­ber of at­tacks on of­fi­cers has reached a three­year high.

Matthew Scott wants harsher sen­tences for yobs who as­sault emer­gency work­ers amid a rise in staff be­ing punched, kicked, stabbed and spat at.

Fig­ures show 878 of­fi­cers have been in­jured while on duty in Kent in the past three years – an in­crease from 238 in 2014/15, to 272 in 2015/16 and 368 last year.

The Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­sponse re­veals the num­ber of of­fi­cers bit­ten rose by 10 in the space of a year, with 18 in­ci­dents re­ported in 2015/16 com­pared to 28 the fol­low­ing year.

The num­ber kicked also went up from 32 in 2015/16 to 80 in 2016/ 17, while knife at­tacks dropped from four to three in the same pe­riod.

Mr Scott said: “What we’re see­ing is more peo­ple who are think­ing it’s ac­cept­able to as­sault a po­lice of­fi­cer.

“My­self and the Chief Con­sta­ble are work­ing to­gether to in­vest in train­ing to help of­fi­cers pro­tect them­selves from these evil in­di­vid­u­als.

“We’ve in­vested in body cam­eras and we’re in­creas­ing our ca­pa­bil­ity for taz­ers and have rein­tro­duced spit hoods and spit guards.

“I think it’s ab­so­lutely un­ac­cept­able any­one could think of as­sault­ing a po­lice of­fi­cer.”

Deputy Chief Con­sta­ble Paul Bran­don said: “As­saults on Kent Po­lice of­fi­cers who are go­ing about their du­ties to pro­tect and serve their com­mu­ni­ties will not be tol­er­ated.

“Ev­ery day our of­fi­cers are re­quired to at­tend un­pre­dictable and chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances. Our front line of­fi­cers and staff are reg­u­larly ex­posed to volatile

‘UN­AC­CEPT­ABLE’: Matthew Scott

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