Three West Yorkshire Police officers blinded and thousands injured in on-duty attacks

There were 1418 attacks on police officers and PCSOs in the West Yorkshire force last year, compared to 1256 in 2018 and 876 in 2017.
There were 1418 attacks on police officers and PCSOs in the West Yorkshire force last year, compared to 1256 in 2018 and 876 in 2017.
0
Have your say

Three West Yorkshire Police officers lost their sight and thousands more were injured in just one year during attacks on duty.

A Freedom of Information request, obtained by the Yorkshire Post, has revealed there were 1418 attacks on police officers and PCSOs in the West Yorkshire force last year, compared to 1256 in 2018 and 876 in 2017.

West Yorkshire Police Federation Chairman Brian Booth.

West Yorkshire Police Federation Chairman Brian Booth.

The number of attacks has also more than doubled from 2016 when there were just 443 reports.

Injuries sustained by officers include fractures, burns, cuts and sprains.

Of the 1418 attacks, 198 cases involved superficial injuries, 100 were bruising and 98 were abrasions.

A total of seven officers had fracture injuries, three lost consciousness and 11 had punctures.

Brian Booth, chairman of the West Yorkshire Police Federation, has condemned the attacks on officers.

He said: ‘’There has not been a week whereby my colleagues in West Yorkshire have not been treated like punchbags.

Read more: Man laid on top of female police officer and 'forced his fingers into her eyes' as she lay helpless on floor
"An officer over Christmas was set upon by four mindless thugs, this resulted in a fractured eye socket and cheekbone. This will mean time away from frontline duties recovering and a further drop in service for the public. There is also extra public cost via the NHS, another investigation and subsequent court costs.

"It makes me very angry that certain individuals have no thought for the consequences of injuring our officers.

"The wind of change is here for those who attack our emergency workers. The Home Secretary Priti Patel has pledged to double the prison sentence for those who assault our Emergency workers and this is welcomed.

"2020 will be the year of significant change in relation to this issue and I will continue to campaign to Protect the Protectors."

Halifax MP and policeman's daughter Holly Lynch was the driving force in lobbying MPs to support the Protect the Protectors legislation, which she first introduced as a Ten Minute Rule Bill in 2016.

Read more: Police officers attacked responding to 999 call in West Yorkshire
Her campaign was the result of first-hand experience while she was out shadowing West Yorkshire Police and an officer was surrounded by an angry gang. As a result, the Labour MP had to call 999 for back up.

The law, brought in in 2018, meant offenders who attacked emergency services faced longer jail terms with an increase from six months to 12 months for offenders.

Ms Lynch has spoken previously of how the Government needs "to get really tough" on the Protect the Protectors Law because assaults are "still too high".

"It hasn't gone quite as far as we would like in terms of being a deterrent," she said.

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable John Robins said any attack on his officers and staff who work tirelessly to protect communities is "simply unacceptable"

Police officers and staff work tirelessly to protect the communities of West Yorkshire and any assault against them is simply unacceptable.

Mr Robins said: "I have a very clear message for anyone who thinks it is okay to assault an emergency worker. I have instructed my officers and staff to take robust and relentless action, and investigations, against anyone who assaults an emergency service worker.

"I expect the full weight of the law to come bearing down heavily on anyone who chooses to assault an emergency service worker."