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It's time to act on officer assaults

Just a few weeks ago, we took the decision to release video footage of one of our members being assaulted as he dealt with a detainee in a Force custody suite.

This is something we as a Federation had never done before. But we have really got to the point where we need to show the reality of policing today.

All too often we are hearing of horrific assaults on police officers, police staff and, it has to be said, other emergency service workers. Statistics do illustrate how common these assaults are - though, I must admit, I am still not convinced that all assaults are being properly reported and recorded. However, statistics are just a list of numbers; videos of officer assaults are far more impactive in terms of showing the public what officers have to contend with.

We received a huge response to the footage, the national and local media picked up the story and we received many supportive messages.

However, we hope that it's not just members of the public who sit up and take notice when they see footage of this nature. What we really need is for MPs to not just view this video but also act on it.

Thankfully, just before Parliament's summer recess, MPs supported a Private Members' Bill that echoes the demands of the Police Federation's Protect The Protectors campaign and sets out new legislation to bring in tougher sentences for those who assault the police and emergency service workers, calls for better protective equipment and also introduce compulsory blood tests for those who spit at officers, eliminating the need for those officers to have to wait months for their own test results.

The bill is due for its second reading in October so let's hope that MPs give it a safe passage through Parliament.

The Government must Protect The Protectors so that they can protect our communities.

Tiff Lynch

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