Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner and chief constable have issued a warning to members of the public following a spate of violent attacks on police officers in Warrington.
Between Sunday 17 February and Tuesday 26 February, 11 officers were assaulted in the town during seven separate incidents.
Chief inspector Simon Meegan from Warrington local policing unit spoke out last week after six officers were attacked in four separate incidents, but since then, five more officers have been assaulted.
One female PC was assaulted on two separate occasions and five officers sustained injuries that required hospital treatment.
The injuries inflicted on the officers ranged from head injuries, arm injuries and a serious hand injury. A number of the officers are receiving ongoing medical treatment.
Police and crime commissioner for Cheshire David Keane has said he is ‘disgusted’ by the attacks.
He said: “I believe that anyone that attacks an emergency service worker should face the full force of the law. Officers are working longer hours, under increasing pressure; they deserve our respect and support and should not face cowardly attacks.
“No officer should go to work expecting to be attacked but, sadly, this is becoming an increasingly regular occurrence. I would like to commend the resilience of our officers who are still working tirelessly each day in these challenging circumstances to keep our communities safe.
“In my role as police and crime commissioner, I am committed to prioritising staff welfare and I will be working closely with the chief constable to put in place better protection for our frontline officers.
“One initiative I would like to explore with the Chief Constable is the possibility of double-crewing at times when there is an increased risk of attacks.”
Chief constable Darren Martland added: “I have seen a worrying increase in the number of physical assaults against members of Cheshire Constabulary, and the fact that there were 11 police officer assault incidents in Warrington in a short period of time is obviously a particular concern.
“Although sadly commonplace, assaults on police officers and staff are entirely unacceptable. The nature of policing inevitably requires officers to deal with violent and challenging situations, but being assaulted by members of the public should never be looked upon as an acceptable ‘part of the job’.
“Such incidents can have far reaching effects, not only for the officer that has been assaulted and their loved ones but also for their colleagues and the communities we police.
“The officer may have to take time off work or be placed on restricted duties whilst they recover from the physical and psychological effects of the assault.
“This increases pressures on other officers and can have a significant impact on the resourcing of incidents and the level of service we are able to provide to communities.”