Assaults on officers drop

CHIEFS at the Suffolk Police Federation have today welcomed news that assaults on officers in the county have reached a four year low.

CHIEFS at the Suffolk Police Federation have today welcomed news that assaults on officers in the county have reached a four year low.

Despite a federation survey earlier this year revealing an increased perception of violence among officers, statistics compiled by Suffolk Police Authority suggest assaults against police are on the decline.

Jim Keeble, chairman of Suffolk Police Federation, said: “I am very pleased that assaults on officers have fallen and I hope the public of Suffolk are getting the message that it is wrong to assault a police officer.

“I would still like to see the punishment for assaulting an officer weigh more heavily than an assault on a member of the public.

“People should realise that police officers have a difficult job to do and should be afforded the respect to do it.”

Mr Keeble said it was unclear why the number of officers attacked had dropped, but said it could be due to improvements in protective equipment which dissuade the public from assaulting them.

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Figures suggest there were about 22 assaults on police staff between January and March 2006, compared with about 42 in the same period last year.

The number of incidents reached its highest between July and September 2004 when more than 60 members of staff were assault in a three month period.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said the decline could be a result of early intervention policing.

She said: “It is difficult to give a definitive reason why the number of assaults on police officers has reduced over the past four years and in particular the past year.

“Officers are being deployed in more strength at relevant times and have adopted the early intervention, zero tolerance approach to alcohol related violence and disorder.

“This has proved to reduce the number of offences of violence and may have had an impact on the number of assaults against police officers as well.”

Weblinks:

www.suffolk.police.uk/PoliceAuthority

www.sufpolfed.co.uk/index2.htm

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