1. ITV Report

Attacks on police officers hit ten a day in the Anglia region

Attacks on police officers in the Anglia region have hit nearly 3,000 in a year. Photo: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive/PA Images

Assaults on police officers in the Anglia region are running at an average of ten per day as one Chief Constable blames late-night drinking for fuelling a violence culture.

Across the eight police forces in the Eastern counties there were nearly 3,000 incidents in 2016/17 where police officers were subjected to attacks and abuse.

There were 846 cases where the officers suffered injuries.

  • Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Tanya Mercer

The Chief Constable of Norfolk. Simon Bailey, has blamed alcohol licencing laws which allow drinking into the early hours for a rise in violent and disruptive behaviour.

There is a tiny minority, that for whatever reason, think it's OK to spit, to try kick and punch, to head-butt my officers.

Quite frankly those attacks on my officers are disgusting.

– Simon Bailey, Norfolk Chief Constable

According to a recent survey by the Police Federation, the average officer will face either physical or verbal abuse as much as 19 times a year.

ITV News Anglia spoke to officers who said they start every shift anticipating some form of abuse.

The Federation is backing a proposed bill to introduce new offences and greater deterrents which could see prison sentences for attacking emergency service workers doubled from the current six months to one year.

Assaults on police officers in forces in the Anglia region in 2016/17

  • Bedfordshire - 206
  • Cambridgeshire - 288
  • Essex - 666
  • Hertfordshire - 551
  • Norfolk - 467
  • Northamptonshire - 213
  • Suffolk - 366
  • Thames Valley - 875
Police officers in the Anglia region face an average of ten assaults per day. Credit: David Jones/PA Archive/PA Images