LETTER: Shocked but not surprised

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I was shocked but not surprised to hear figures from the Police Federation of England and Wales this week that estimate there are more than 6,600 assaults on police officers every day.

Their survey of some 17,000 officers, the first of its kind, revealed that police officers in England and Wales face around 2.4 million attacks each year – which could be up to 100 times more than the Home Office had estimated.

There were more than 40,000 injuries due to violence last year and these figures show that, on average, an assault – which includes offenders struggling to get free, wrestling, hitting, kicking or spitting at officers – happens every four minutes.

Police officers go out every day knowing they could be placing themselves in danger so it is vital that as a society we do everything we can to ensure officers are protected while they’re doing their jobs.

Last year I provided funding for more than 1,000 body worn video cameras to frontline officers. Research shows that these cameras can de-escalate behaviour and often take that aggression out of a situation. And let’s not forget about our other emergency service workers on the frontline such as paramedics, nurses and firefighters, who all deserve to be treated with respect and not face the threat of violence on a daily basis.

Katy Bourne

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner