Plan To Help Sussex Police Officers Assaulted On Duty

Tuesday 14th February 2017

eastbourne buzz news - Sussex Police Crest 2

Almost 3,000 reported assaults on Sussex Police officers since 2013.

During these attacks, officers have been left with dislocated shoulders, kicks, snapped Achilles tendons, bruises and scratches as well as being spat at meaning having to go through HIV and hepatitis tests.

Whilst the job can often be dangerous and unpredictable, the Force stresses that being assaulted must never be seen as ‘part of the job’. A seven-point plan is being adopted to get a better picture of how many officers are being assaulted as many do not make official reports.

The Force has worked with Unison, the Police Federation and the Superintendent's Association to use a seven point plan which consistently deals with how assaults on staff and officers are dealt with.

Assistant Chief Constable Laurence Taylor said, "Every day officers go out on the frontline to protect the public and this often means helping them at times when they are going through or find themselves in challenging or difficult situations. While distressing, this does not give anyone the right to physically or verbally assault our officers or staff. If anyone in force is assaulted while on duty the impact can be huge. Not only is that person affected, but also their team and their family.

"Policing can be a dangerous and unpredictable job, but being assaulted must never be seen as an acceptable part of it.

"Being assaulted is not part of the job. While assaults on officers do happen, our commitment is to do everything to reduce this and when they do happen, that they are dealt with, with the same level of care and focus that a member of the public would receive.”

Matt Webb, chairman of the Sussex Police Federation said he welcomed the force's approach, "It is important that officers are encouraged to properly record all assaults that they are subjected to and to challenge others if this plan is not adhered to. We have seen in the past occasions where officers have been assaulted and the offenders have been back on the streets before the officers and this simply cannot be right. This plan sends a clear message to individuals who believe it is acceptable to assault police officers that they can expect to be charged and a court appearance because and assault on a police officer is an assault on society and will not be tolerated.

"The introduction of this plan links in with our ongoing work with CPS to ensure a consistent process throughout the criminal justice system and the National Federation campaign ‘Protect the Protectors' which is seeking a change in legislation to provide greater sentencing powers when any emergency service worker is attacked on duty.”

The seven-point plan adopted by Sussex Police, is based on one of the main pieces of work to emerge from a four month national led research project by Hampshire Police for the College of Policing in 2014.

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