137 Officers Assaulted Every Day In UK

A perfect storm of a seemingly increasingly angry public, insufficient numbers of police officers, and inexperience in the ranks has led to an increase in officer assaults, according to Hampshire Police Federation.

Zoë Wakefield, Federation Chair, was speaking after it emerged that more than 137 officers are assaulted every day in the UK – that’s one every ten minutes and 50,000plus in the year.

Zoë said: “These figures are bonkers; but I’m not surprised. The level of violence shown towards police officers is increasing all the time. I think there’s a lot of factors responsible. There’s a lot of things that are making the public upset and angry at the moment – both around the world and with our Government. The cost of living crisis, for example, has an impact on people’s resilience and how they react to certain things.”

Zoë also blamed an anti-police media narrative alongside a lack of police resources – and said that stronger sentences need to be handed down.

She said: “When you’ve got officers that become isolated in an incident, or with backup is too far away – these things contribute to that increase. I think a lot needs to be done to stop it and prevent it.”

When Zoë first started on the beat and was deployed to a potentially violent incident alone, she said she would be able to wait at the address until a colleague could join her; an option that is not available now due to officer numbers and inexperience.

Zoë added: “It’s not good enough. Sometimes there just isn’t enough of us. We need real investment from the Government in recruiting, because we are still nowhere near the numbers that we should be, bearing in mind population increases and the increase in crime.

“We need to see police officers out and about so the public feel safer and criminals feel deterred. It’s simple maths; the more police officers you’ve got out there, the less crime. The chief of the New York Police Department did it years ago. He literally put a police officer on every corner in Manhattan and it massively reduced crime.”

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