Bedfordshire Police officers attacked more than 300 times during pandemic

And there were six separate assaults incidents over the weekend in the county

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 10:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 10:56 am

Police officers in Bedfordshire have been attacked more than 300 times during the coronavirus pandemic, figures reveal.

It comes as there were six separate incidents over the weekend with police officers assaulted in the county.

This included a car being driven at an officer who was trying to stop a vehicle while on foot in Luton on Sunday night.

Police officers in Bedfordshire have been attacked more than 300 times during the coronavirus pandemic

And a man was also charged with assault and possession of a knife over an incident where police officers were injured

Bedfordshire Police assistant chief constable Sharn Basra said: “Sadly, incidents like these from the weekend are becoming all too frequent.

"I am proud of the support we provide to those who have to endure this treatment in their everyday business of keeping people safe.

“But we will also pursue anyone who assaults a police officer as they carry out their duties. We will not tolerate this behaviour and action will be taken.”

Home Office data shows 337 attacks on police officers were recorded by Bedfordshire Police between April 2020 and March 2021.

Of the attacks in 2020-21, 47 resulted in an injury to the officer, compared to 58 the previous year, while in 290 cases the officer escaped physically unhurt.

More than 250 people have been charged with assaults on Bedfordshire Police officers since April 2020.

Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye said: “I am extremely concerned about the assaults on our police officers here in Bedfordshire and my thoughts are with those affected by these incidents.

"Any assault on an emergency worker is absolutely unacceptable and must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

“The current legislation going through parliament will double sentencing for those who assault emergency service workers from 12 to 24 months. I welcome this plan but want the government to go further by introducing a mandatory minimum custodial sentence instead.”

Inspector Emma Carter, from the Bedfordshire Police Federation, said: "Assaulting a police officer is never OK. Police officers go to work to help protect the public and safeguard our most vulnerable.

"Yes, they attend violent incidents and can deal with unpredictable individuals, but this is not and cannot be an excuse to assault those going to help.

"The federation launched the seven point plan some years ago which was fully implemented in Bedfordshire, this has now evolved and assaults on our officers and staff are taken seriously.

"We hope this is reflected in the sentences imposed by the courts and CPS, using the full strength of the new legislation available to them."