Commissioner calls for harsher penalties for 999 attackers after officer assaulted in Boston
The police and crime commissioner for Lincolnshire has called for a specific charge ‘of attacking a member of the 999 services’ and for it to be punishable with a strict penalty following an assault on an on duty police officer.
PCC Marc Jones made the comments following the incident which took place on Friday evening.
Lincolnshire Police confirmed the on-duty officer was assaulted in the Beechwood area of Boston, near Fenside Road.
The incident resulted in part of the woods being closed off by police as investigations took place.
His injuries were reported as ‘not life-threatening and he has since been discharged from hospital’.
Mr Jones said he had been following the officer’s progress and on twitter wished him a ‘swift recovery following this despicable act’.
He added; “We owe a debt of gratitude to all that rush to danger to keep us safe.”
He said he was ‘glad to see in Lincolnshire we don’t have a lot of serious assaults, but sadly people offering abuse to people responding to 999 calls is far too prevalent’.
There are already specific charges for assaulting or obstructing a constable in the execution of his duty but not for other emergency responders.
“I think there should be a specific offence of attacking a member of 999 services with a harsh penalty,” he added.
We have a duty of care to protect our people as much as is reasonably possible to do. Nobody goes to work to be spat at, bitten, punched or kicked.
Work is already on going within the blue light services to protect the amazing people who respond to emergencies including ambulance drivers and fire crews.
Marc Jones has been an advocate of spit guards and in a recent Twitter poll found that 595 out of 627 people who voted supported their use.
Mr Jones said : “It is something I would support the introduction of if the Chief Constable felt it appropriate.”
He has also supported the introduction of body cameras, which are available to all frontline officers and are in the process of being rolled out to special constables and PCSOs.
He accepted, however, that although body cameras can collect evidence, they can’t prevent incidents.
He also pointed out that since he had been appointed as PCC a welfare board had been set up for officers which looks to support them and looks at protective equipment - a move Mr Jones called a ‘huge step forward’ for the force.
“We have a duty of care to protect our people as much as is reasonably possible to do. Nobody goes to work to be spat at, bitten, punched or kicked.
“Accepting some times our officers aren’t dealing with the most savoury characters in society, we have to give them as much protection as we can.”
Following the incident on Friday night, Supt Paul Timmins tweeted that he had caught up with the injured officer. He said: “They are well and recovering and gave been overwhelmed by the messages of support.”
Boston Police Cadets also tweeted to say: “So sad to read yet again another injured officer in the course of his duty.”
Anyone with information about the assault is asked to call 101, quoting incident number 415 of November 18.