Shock rise in at­tacks on po­lice

Fig­ures show num­ber of of­fi­cers as­saulted has risen for two years in a row:

Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By MICHAEL GOODIER news­[email protected] @MENnews­desk

PO­LICE of­fi­cers were at­tacked hun­dreds of times in Manch­ester last year.

An anal­y­sis of Home Of­fice fig­ures has re­vealed the parts of the coun­try where po­lice of­fi­cers were most likely to get as­saulted on the job.

There were 417 as­saults on po­lice con­sta­bles in Manch­ester be­tween June 2018 and the end of May last year.

That’s a higher rate than any other part of Greater Manch­ester, work­ing out as 76 in­ci­dents for ev­ery 100,000 peo­ple liv­ing in the area.

Luck­ily only 24 per cent of the anti-po­lice at­tacks re­sulted in an in­jury.

Manch­ester was fol­lowed by Sal­ford (52 po­lice con­sta­ble as­saults for ev­ery 100,000 peo­ple), Rochdale (40) and Tame­side (39).

The fig­ures – which do not in­clude more se­ri­ous as­saults such as at­tempted mur­der – show the num­ber of as­saults on po­lice of­fi­cers in Greater Manch­ester has risen for the last two years in a row.

There were 739 in the 12 months to June 2017.

That had risen to 995 by June 2018 and 1,220 in the 12 months to June 2019.

John Apter, na­tional chair of the Po­lice Fed­er­a­tion of Eng­land and Wales, said: “The rise in as­saults on our of­fi­cers is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able and must never be seen as just part of the job. The re­cent surge of se­vere, high-pro­file at­tacks is a se­ri­ous con­cern and the Fed­er­a­tion will con­tinue to push for in­creased pro­tec­tions for of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing a wider roll-out of Taser.

“But Taser is just part of the so­lu­tion; there must also be a stronger le­gal de­ter­rent.

“My col­leagues feel failed by the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem that should be there to sup­port them when the thugs who at­tack them are let off with lit­tle more than a slap on the wrist.

“We wel­come the gov­ern­ment’s pledge to dou­ble the cur­rent max­i­mum sen­tenc­ing to 24 months – some­thing we ini­tially fought hard for through our Pro­tect the Pro­tec­tors cam­paign – and I will be dis­cussing this with the Home Sec­re­tary when I meet with her in the com­ing weeks to en­sure those who at­tack my col­leagues are dealt with se­verely.”

The re­cent rise in anti-po­lice at­tacks is not lim­ited to Greater Manch­ester.

Across Eng­land and Wales, po­lice forces have recorded a steep rise in as­saults on po­lice con­sta­bles in the line of duty.

Home Of­fice data shows that in the year to June 2019 there were 30,513 as­saults (with or with­out in­jury) on of­fi­cers – up from 27,237 in the pre­vi­ous 12 months and 18,220 in the year be­fore that.

Some 10,363 at­tacks in the year to June 2019 caused an in­jury.

Across Eng­land and Wales, Ste­van­age was the worst place for at­tacks against po­lice of­fi­cers.

There were 152 per 100,000 peo­ple liv­ing there.

That was fol­lowed by Nor­wich (145 per 100,000 peo­ple), and West­min­ster (126 per 100,000 peo­ple).

The fig­ures only in­clude as­saults recorded by po­lice, mean­ing that the true num­bers could be even higher.

There were 417 as­saults on po­lice in Manch­ester be­tween June 2018 and May 2019

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