Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott’s motion on police officer safety, which called on the Government to ‘implement statutory guidance on sentencing which reflects the seriousness of the issue’ was accepted during a debate at the House of Commons last Wednesday, November 2.
In the revised motion, the House noted that ‘any assault on a police officer is unacceptable’ and ‘the work of the independent Sentencing Council in producing guidelines that specifically highlight the increased seriousness of an offence committed against anyone providing a public service’ was welcomed.
The Government also committed to more accurate recording of assaults on police officers in England and Wales ‘to better understand the scale of this issue’.
Crawley MP Henry Smith said: “It is important that such attacks are recorded properly and I welcome action from the Home Office to improve the accuracy of this information.
From next year, police forces will be asked to provide data on the number of assaults with injury on a police officer as part of recorded crime statistics.
On a personal note, I am grateful to Sussex Police officers in Crawley, particularly Chief Inspector Dave Padwick, for the care and diligence that he and his force continue to demonstrate while protecting local communities.”
Nusrat Ghani, MP for Wealden, said: “The safety of police officers is of paramount importance. That is why I and a majority of MPs voted last week to welcome new guidelines that mean any offence committed against anyone providing a public service is treated more seriously by the authorities.
“My work on the Home Affairs Select Committee involves investigating police issues at all levels – security, funding, recruitment and retention – so I am well aware of the sacrifices made by our police forces, and of the support given to them by the Government.”
Horsham MP Jeremy Quin said: “I was pleased to support the Government backed resolution which was unanimously supported in the Commons.
“It is incredibly important that we support our police officers - especially as regards their safety on duty. I attended the Ministers speech in the debate and was pleased to hear her commitment to refer the issue to the independent sentencing council for their review - parliament spoke with one voice on this issue.”
The original motion put forward by Ms Abbott was amended to remove a sentence that read ‘to ensure that police officer numbers and funding are not cut further.’
There are an estimated 23,000 assaults on police officers in England and Wales each year, according to Ms Abbott.
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