The number of assaults against police officers and police staff in North Yorkshire has risen by almost 60% during the lockdown period. It includes employees being punched in the head, bitten, spat and coughed at, kicked, scalded with hot water, headbutted and having their eyes gouged – all within the last few months. North Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lisa Winward said offenders show a “deplorable attitude to those who are making great sacrifices to serve their communities”. She also vowed that anyone who assaults a North Yorkshire Police worker will be dealt with to the full extent of the law. North Yorkshire Police Federation, which also looks after the welfare of officers, said strong court sentences for attackers send out a clear message and can deter would-be offenders. Since lockdown began in late March, 87 assaults against North Yorkshire Police officers and staff have been reported. During the same period in 2019, the number was 55. That’s a 58% rise.
In the last month alone, there have been 21 reported offences. The figures cover police officers, PCSOs, custody personnel, police staff, Special Constables and volunteers. These are just some of the incidents that happened within the last month:
Six officers punched in the face during different incidents, with at least two suffering black eyes and facial swelling
An officer’s hand was bitten, and two other officers were bitten on the knee, all during separate incidents
An officer was kicked in the side of his head
An officer having to attend hospital for tests after someone spat in their eye. Several other officers were spat on during separate incidents
An officer who was headbutted in her nose, causing injuries
An officer being stabbed in the hand with a pen in a custody suite