‘Help us when we ar­rest vi­o­lent of­fend­ers’

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - News -

Mem­bers of the pub­lic have been urged to back up po­lice of­fi­cers strug­gling to ar­rest vi­o­lent of­fend­ers – and warned that of­fi­cers could be in­structed to let strug­gling sus­pects es­cape if they are not given more sup­port.

Re­cent footage of po­lice of­fi­cers be­ing at­tacked while try­ing to ap­pre­hend two al­leged crim­i­nals has caused outrage in po­lice ranks.

The footage ap­pears to show a man aim a fly­ing kick at a fe­male of­fi­cer, while a male of­fi­cer is dragged across the road as he tries to stop a sec­ond sus­pect from run­ning away.

The male of­fi­cer suf­fered cuts and the fe­male of­fi­cer was left with head in­juries.

Now, Devon and Corn­wall firearms of­fi­cer Sgt Harry Tangye has said the pub­lic’s help in sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions would be “very much ap­pre­ci­ated”.

And the video has prompted Ken Marsh, chair­man of the Metropoli­tan Po­lice Fed­er­a­tion, to ask the pub­lic to “back up” the po­lice – in­stead of just stand­ing by and film­ing these events.

In an in­ter­view on BBC Ra­dio Corn­wall Sgt Tangye – who, like many of­fi­cers, is of­ten sent out “sin­gle-crewed” with­out a part­ner – said the pub­lic would be “quite con­cerned” if they knew how few po­lice of­fi­cers were on duty on a Satur­day night. He said it had “be­come nor­mal” for peo­ple to re­sist ar­rest, whereas when he joined the force 20 years ago it was a rar­ity.

Sgt Tangye re­vealed that last year he ended up un­der a “rugby scrum of peo­ple” who “could have done what the hell they wanted to him” – but de­cided not to de­ploy his Taser, be­cause he feared it could be taken off him and used against him.

When asked if mem­bers of the pub­lic should help of­fi­cers in trou­ble, Sgt Tangye said: “If you are pass­ing, and you see a sit­u­a­tion where you feel you could make an ac­tive con­tri­bu­tion, then please – that would be very much ap­pre­ci­ated.”

A wo­man was ar­rested in a Cornish town cen­tre yes­ter­day af­ter at­tack­ing a para­medic.

Sev­eral po­lice units headed to the scene in Pound Street, in Liskeard to in­ter­vene.

Of­fi­cers ar­rested her and said that such at­tacks would not be tol­er­ated. Liskeard Po­lice said: “The fe­male was ar­rested. This is not ac­cept­able and will not be tol­er­ated. It is not part of the job.”

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