Assaults on police officers rise in lockdown

Since lockdown began in late March, 87 assaults against North Yorkshire Police officers and staff have been reported Credit: PA

The number of assaults against police officers and police staff in North Yorkshire has risen by almost 60% during lockdown .

Employees have been punched in the head, bitten, spat and coughed at, kicked, scalded with hot water, head butted and had their eyes gouged – all within the last few months.

“It's a deplorable attitude to those who are making great sacrifices to serve their communities”

North Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lisa Winward

She also vowed that anyone who assaults a North Yorkshire Police worker will be dealt with to the full extent of the law.

North Yorkshire Police Federation, which also looks after the welfare of officers, said strong court sentences for attackers send out a clear message and can deter would-be offenders.

Since lockdown began in late March, 87 assaults against North Yorkshire Police officers and staff have been reported. During the same period in 2019, the number was 55. A rise of 58%.

In the last month alone, there have been 21 reported offences. The figures cover police officers, PCSOs, custody personnel, police staff, Special Constables and volunteers.

In the last month alone, there have been 21 reported offences Credit: PA

Throughout the pandemic, officers and staff across the force have being showing a level of commitment, diligence and professionalism that is nothing short of incredible. Some colleagues have made significant personal sacrifices so they can continue to serve the public, such as not living with their families.

North Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lisa Winward

“So these assaults reflect a deplorable attitude to those who are making a great sacrifice to serve their communities.

“As well as being hugely distressing for the victims, they are also damaging to communities who are appalled by the warped mindset of those who attack people that work so hard to keep others safe.

“We absolutely cannot, and will not, tolerate that. It’s sickening and it’s wrong. If you assault an emergency services worker, you will be dealt with robustly to the full extent of the law. It’s that simple.”