Doncaster MP Caroline Flint calls for tougher sentences for anyone who attacks a police officer

Doncaster MP Caroline Flint is calling for tougher sentences to be introduced for anyone who attacks a police officer, after it was revealed 265 assaults have been carried out against officers in South Yorkshire in the last year.

Saturday, 22nd October 2016, 4:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 4:11 pm
L-R: PC Craig Gallant (West Yorkshire Police), Nick Smart (Chairman, West Yorkshire Police Federation), Caroline Flint, Calum Macleod (Vice-Chairman, Police Federation of England and Wales).

This comes after the Don Valley MP met with Police Federation representatives in Parliament this week.

Ms Flint is now backing a debate on police officer safety.

She said: “It was great to meet Police Federation representatives in the Commons to discuss the problem of violence directed at police, and I was pleased to support a debate led by Halifax MP, Holly Lynch, to highlight the shocking extent of the problem.”

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During the ‘Protect the Protectors’ event in Parliament,Ms Flint discussed the latest assault figures and discuss how violence towards the police affected their ability to protect their communities.

The most recent Home Office figures on police officer assaults show that there were approximately 23,000 assaults on Police Officers, with over 265 assaults in South Yorkshire alone, in the last financial year.

However even this is thought to be an underestimate as the Home Office believe that many assaults go unreported. In addition some police forces, including South Yorkshire, appear not to collect data recording the total number of assaults meaning that the national figures provide an incomplete picture of the situation.

Nick Smart, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, which represents police officers, said: "An assault on a police officer is an assault on society and more needs to be done to keep them safe. Officers accept the risk and the public also understand the dangers of the job, but the amount of assaults taking place is alarming,"

The Don Valley MP added: “This week, MPs have been asking the Home office to record all instances of assaults on officers. We have to understand the real scale of the problem, and do something about it.

“We are also calling for tougher sentences for those who assault the police. The courts must be able to provide a strong deterrent against attacks on our front line officers.”