Shropshire Star

'Disgraceful, deplorable': Taser call for frontline police as number of attacks on officers revealed

More than 600 West Mercia Police officers were assaulted over 12 months, it has been revealed.

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The West Mercia Police Federation has highlighted the figures, describing the number of attacks on officers across the country as "disgraceful and deplorable".

Across England and Wales there were more than 40,000 attacks on officers in the 12 months up to March 31, 2023, with 11,022 leaving officers injured.

In West Mercia (Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire) over the same period there were 634 attacks on police officers, with 177 resulting in officers being injured.

West Mercia Police Federation chair Steve Butler said action is needed to ‘protect the protectors’ as he called for courts to use their full powers when dealing with offenders who assault officers.

Mr Butler said: “It’s absolutely disgraceful and deplorable that our members are being attacked in the course of their duties.

“As a federation, we reject the view that it comes with the job. It can never be acceptable to attack police officers.

“Of course it’s only a tiny minority of people, and we’re grateful for the support for police officers from the overwhelming majority of the public.

“We need those who attack police officers to feel the full weight of the law.

“The maximum sentence for assaults on blue light workers increased last year from 12 months to two years, and we need that to be implemented by the courts.

“Put simply, we need to protect the protectors.”

Mr Butler said the figures add weight to calls by the Police Federation of England and Wales for the wider roll-out of Taser to all frontline officers – should they wish to be equipped with them.

He said: “Taser is an effective means of dealing with many situations that our members have to face.

“Having it as part of their toolkit is a real deterrent, and just drawing it out in the majority of cases brings the violence or the threat of violence to an end.

“Officers should have that protection, and the ability to protect the public too, if they wish to.”

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