Bristol and Somerset police officers ‘anticipating’ attacks

Four police officers walking on a pavement Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption PCC Sue Mountstevens says officers are almost anticipating being attacked every single day

Police officers are “almost anticipating” being attacked “every day”, according to Avon and Somerset’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

PCC Sue Mountstevens said there was a rising tide of violence against police officers.

She said the assaults were having an impact on officers, as well as their partners and children.

“How do you explain to your family that you went to work and came back with a black eye?” she said.

‘Headbutted and kicked’

Speaking at a meeting of the police and crime panel, Ms Mountstevens told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “One of the issues that really worries me is the increase of police assaults where a number of officers on a daily basis are being spat at, headbutted and kicked, and that’s not acceptable.

“That’s something they’re almost anticipating every single day.

“How do you explain that to your kids? When you come back from work, how do you explain to your family that you went to work and came back with a black eye?

“It’s bound to affect not only the individual but their family as well.

“These are people who day in and day out are being assaulted on a far more regular basis now than they have ever been.”

Figures released last year showed attacks on Avon and Somerset police have gone up in the past decade, with more than three attacks every week on average.

Crime statistics revealed there were 185 assaults on officers in 2017/18, with 60 of those resulting in injury.

It was the first time figures were compiled for the number of attacks causing injuries to police.

Previously they were recorded under the general umbrella of violence with injury.

Although this means it is not possible to compare the total number of assaults on officers with previous years, we do know that the 125 attacks without injury in 2017/18 rose from 116 the previous year and is more than double the 55 recorded in 2007/08.


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