Officer assaults lowest in years

SUFFOLK Constabulary has recorded an eight-year low in the number of officers assaulted while on duty, a new report reveals.During 2006-07, 114 of the force's police officers were assaulted compared to almost 150 the previous year.

SUFFOLK Constabulary has recorded an eight-year low in the number of officers assaulted while on duty, a new report reveals.

During 2006-07, 114 of the force's police officers were assaulted compared to almost 150 the previous year.

A report, due to be discussed by Suffolk Police Authority's human resources and staff liaison committee, says this is the lowest figure since 1999.

It reveals Suffolk has the second lowest assault rate out of nine similar forces in the country, including Norfolk.


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Most of the assaults occurred when offenders attempted to resist arrest or when police officers tried to restrain a suspect.

Darren Gibbs, head of Suffolk Constabulary's professional safety training department, said the force could only assume the low number of assaults was down to the thorough training given to officers including conflict management skills and communication skills to try to resolve conflict before it becomes a point where an officer is assaulted.

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He said that the introduction of body armour also helped reduce injuries.”

He added: “In 2006, we changed to PAVA, an incapacitant spray, which is another option officers have got for dealing with situations.”

Mr Gibbs said the force had specialists departments, including those trained with Taser guns, which could assist officers if alerted and that officers had a minimum of 12 hours fresh training every year to hone their skills.

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