Fedster + 1,307 Posted August 31, 2018 Share Posted August 31, 2018 Chief says worrying level of violence 'completely unacceptable' after bank holiday battering of officers. Protecting the protectors: Public and courts must both play their part in combating assaults on officers Date - 31st August 2018 By - Nick Hudson - Police Oracle 1 Comment A chief has called for frontline silent witnesses to document the “worrying” increase in violence directed at officers. Temporary Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard believes the public can “do their bit” to help bring perpetrators of attacks on policing to justice in a 21st century version of TV’s ‘Candid Camera’ show. He wants anyone who sees an assault on police or other emergency service workers to turn homespun ‘film director’ and video the incident as it happens – afterwards handing over their footage for court use. The North Wales T/CC has spoken out after an unprecedented Bank Holiday weekend of assaults across this region that saw an officer have his eye gouged while others were head butted, kicked, pushed and scratched – resulting in a broken nose and jaw as well as other cuts and bruises. He said: “I’m really concerned about the injuries being caused to officers . . . although the issue really is assaults on public servants – not just the police. We need to protect the protectors – it’s not just us.” He labelled the weekend violence, in incidents at Bala, Bangor, Caernarfon, Wrexham and Flintshire, “completely unacceptable and very concerning”. Last month, there were 41 assaults on the force’s officers. The force has reacted by increasing the number of Taser-trained officers on the streets of north Wales by a quarter – from 240 to 300 – supported by a further 100 firearm officers from the Cheshire and North Wales Alliance Armed Policing Unit. Although Mr Pritchard said the use of Taser is “rare”, and would only be countenanced as a last resort. The force’s most senior officer has also held talks with the North Wales Police Federation and a specialist group is being established to review the assaults in detail, which will report to the Force Operations Committee. Mr Pritchard said: “We have seen an increase in assaults on police since July and August and I am becoming increasingly concerned about attacks where officers are being bitten and spat at as these kind of incidents can have far reaching consequences. “I am really worried about the level of violence that is being used. An assault of any kind should never be considered ‘part of the job’.” Despite the “real concerns” over the injuries caused to officers, he said many are choosing to stay on duty after receiving treatment. “It is also important to remember the impact these attacks are having on families. “These attacks leave their mark physically and mentally on the officers... and their families. “I feel that as chief constable it is my duty to support my officers and highlight to the courts the effect of those injuries on our staff who are working hard to safeguard the public.” But in a clarion call to society, he added: “What we need is the public’s support and also support from the courts. “I would ask that if members of the public do witness an assault on police that they video it and send it to us as evidence. “But really the support we need the most is from the courts.” Four people have been charged with five assaults on officers in Gwynedd, a further two offenders have been arrested in Wrexham and work continues to apprehend others suspected to be involved in the other incidents. The North Wales Police Federation has previously called for tougher sentences for people who attack officers, as well as better training and support for staff. Earlier this year, South Wales Police's Chief Constable Matt Jukes said his officers were subjected to about nine assaults a week, including knife attacks. Yesterday Simon Kempton, Operational Policing lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales, told Police Oracle readers it saddened him when members of the public witness an interaction between the police and a suspect and "their initial reaction is to reach for their phones and start filming". View On Police Oracle Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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