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Police officers in Devon and Cornwall assaulted over Christmas

Police officers in Devon and Cornwall assaulted over Christmas

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 3:52pm 31st December 2018.

It has been revealed around three to four police officers in Devon and Cornwall have been assaulted every day over Christmas.

Officials say that includes being punched, kicked, spat at and verbally abused.

The force's Assistant Chief Constable has tweeted the figures - calling them "unaccaptable".

"As duty chief officer in the lead up to Christmas and the last few days I can confirm that @DC_Police have averaged 3-4 officers (inc Special Constabulary) assaulted EVERY DAY, punched, kicked, spat at & verbally abused.....Seasons Greetings?? #unacceptable"

ACC Paul Davies

It comes after a new campaign in November - to help stop emergency workers being assaulted.

Thousands of blue light workers are attacked across the south west each year.

Now #Unacceptable is highlighting the number of assaults staff face whilst on duty.

Police, ambulance, fire and healthcare staff are regularly subjected to attacks including serious injury, verbal abuse, spitting and biting, and even sexual assault from those they are trying to help.

"Our officers and staff, along with other emergency services colleagues, demonstrate commitment, courage and dedication on a daily basis.

"They signed up to helping and protecting the public, not coming into work each day with the risk of being assaulted.

"The impact this can have on them, their colleagues and their families can have lasting effects long after physical scars have healed.

"Together, the emergency services want to ensure our personnel can deliver the best possible service to our communities; but in order to do this we need injury-free and healthy work forces.

"We will not tolerate assaults on our emergency services and will seek to bring criminal proceedings against offenders.

"I welcome the new law to double the maximum sentence from six months to 12 months for assaulting an emergency services worker."

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Davies on behalf of Devon & Cornwall Police

Based on previous twelve-month figures, by the end of this year, over 1,400 police officers from Devon & Cornwall Police, Dorset Police and Avon & Somerset Police would have been assaulted while carrying out duties to keep the peace within their local communities. Almost 500 of those will be across Cornwall and Devon.

South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) reported 1,049 assaults on their staff between January and December 2017, which is an increase of 97 reports on the previous 12 months.

Sadly, however, it is thought that these figures do not represent the entirety of assaults, as many are never reported by the victims.

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