There have been 154 recorded assaults on police officers and staff since October last year, meaning at least five officers are being assaulted every week in Lincolnshire.
Punching, kicking and spitting are among the most frequent types of attacks, but there has also been a rise in incidents where officers and staff are coughed on by individuals claiming to be infected by COVID-19.
Lincolnshire Police has seen a sharp rise in the number of officers assaulted in the county over the past week. This comes after a five-day period wherein 15 police officers and support staff were assaulted whilst on duty.
In one of the most recent examples, a police constable was assaulted whilst attending a report of a COVID breach. Officers were called to an address in Gainsborough after reports of a house party where a male officer was subsequently assaulted, but fortunately he did not sustain any injuries.
This comes after the latest figures released by the National Police Chiefs’ Council revealed that assaults on emergency workers have increased by 14% year on year.
Lincolnshire Police launched a new policy in October last year to investigate all crimes against their officers and staff, combined with an enhanced welfare package to support those affected.
Deputy Chief Constable Jason Harwin said: “Assaulting any emergency worker isn’t acceptable. The number of assaults on our officers and staff over the weekend continues to show the risk of carrying out the important role of protecting the public from harm and enforcing the law.
“We continue to support our officers and staff who have been assaulted through ensuring their welfare following each incident.
“Assaults against police officers and staff are not part of the job and we continue to work hard to protect all officers and staff who work for Lincolnshire Police.”
Inspector Barry Steele of the Lincolnshire Police Federation said: “Tackling the rise in assaults against our officers is something the Federation have been lobbying hard for both locally and nationally, it is simply unacceptable that assaulting emergency workers happens with the frequency it does.
“Raising the sentence for such assaults from six months imprisonment to a year is an element of the Police and Crime and Courts Bill currently going through parliament that the Police Federation have fought long and hard for.
“We will continue to strive to ensure that those who think assaulting officers exercising their duties is somehow ok and normal are arrested, charged and convicted.”