Lincolnshire police officers assaulted while on duty
Nine Lincolnshire Police officers have been assaulted whilst on duty in the past few days.
On Friday two PCs were bitten and kicked while arresting a man.
On Saturday a Sargeant was spat at and head-butted - causing his lip to split open - while attending an attempted robbery.
And again on Saturday, six officers were injured while dealing with a woman who was trying to kick down a door. The officer most badly injured in that incident was bitten so hard that the bite went straight through the finger nail and nail bed.
The suspect also spat and kicked at other officers who were trying to get her to release her bite on the PC.
The incidents happened in Gainsborough, Skegness and Donnington.
Chief Constable Bill Skelly said: “There is no other word for this type of behavior other than appalling. This number of assaults on staff in such a short space of time really highlights how our officers and staff are placing themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis. They do so in order to protect the vulnerable, keep communities safe and to prevent and detect crime.
“We have a duty to protect the public but we are all too often prevented from doing so due to violent individuals who choose to attack those who are there to help them.
“All too often police officers and staff are subjected to assaults and threats. While the severity of such attacks changes, the impact upon society does not. It is never acceptable to assume that assaults upon police officers and staff should be tolerated; they are not simply ‘part of the job,’ and any presumption that a member of the police service should expect to be, or should accept being abused or subjected to violent behaviour, is wrong. While it is clear that the nature of policing requires members of the organisation to handle difficult and hostile situations, assaults upon them are serious and unacceptable. “
Lincolnshire Police say 271 officers and staff were assaulted in the county in 2017.
The assaults not only affected its ability to provide a safe Lincolnshire because they cause absences from work but they also acutely affect the morale of others who see their colleagues injured on duty.
Mr Skelly continued: “We have taken steps to try and prevent assaults happening, including the introduction of spit and bite guards and the option to use Taser, but the only thing that will really change these numbers is that people quite simply stop being violent towards police.”
“We will never use force unless the situation dictates and would always much prefer to deal with and resolve a situation in as peaceful, safe, and calm a way as possible.”
“Most importantly it should be remembered that police officers and staff are people, they are fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. When they are attacked they become victims just like any other, but victims who have been attacked while trying to protect others from being victimised.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said: “All emergency services workers do a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances and don’t deserve to face the level of violence and abuse they encounter daily.
“Keeping our front line officers safe is absolutely paramount. That is why I have given my unwavering support to introducing new tasers and spit guards and supported new laws to hand out harsher sentences to people who attack officers and the service animals that support them.
“I will continue to support the chief and his team in their drive to keep officers safe and on the streets protecting our communities.”
The recent assaults in Lincolnshire have come at a time when the Police Federation of England and Wales have released a video in which emergency service workers share their harrowing experiences of being assaulted on duty.
A full length version of the video will be screened at the Federation’s annual conference on May 22-23 before being released online – this year’s conference theme is ‘Protecting the Protectors: The Reality of Policing’.
This week, two atmospheric teasers of the upcoming video have been released. They include a female paramedic who was sexually assaulted by a patient, a prison officer horrifically slashed across his head and face with a razor blade and police officers who were respectively bitten, choked unconscious, attacked with a machete, slammed against the ground, kicked in the face.
To watch the videos and for more on the campaign please visit www.polfed.org/ptp and use the Twitter hashtag #ProtectTheProtectors.