Suffolk: Fewer police going off sick after assaults

THE number of working days lost by police officers in the county to sickness due to assaults has sharply decreased in the last few years, figures reveal.

Officers in Suffolk lost just 44 working days as a result of sickness due to assaults in 2011/12, compared to 208 days in 2007/08, 240 days in 2008/09, 210 days in 2009/10 and 114 days in 2010/11.

The figures were revealed following a written parliamentary question by MP Andrew Stunell and Suffolk’s figures are among the lowest in the UK.

A spokesman for Suffolk police explained that officers receive training to minimise the risk of them being assaulted.

“Policing is a physically demanding job,” the spokesman said. “With officers placing themselves in challenging situations on a daily basis, in order to protect others, officers receive extensive training to reduce the likelihood of them being victims of assault.

“As part of their initial training they receive guidance, which includes tactical communications training, how to position themselves at an incident to minimise the risk of harm and how to use all their personal safety equipment appropriately.

“Additionally, a common thread throughout all their training is the correct way to calm situations and improve their communication skills to prevent such an assault from taking place in the first place.”