‘Help us when we arrest violent offenders’
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.”