Attacks on police in Humberside force area hit four-year high during pandemic

Attacks on police in Humberside hit a four-year high during the coronavirus pandemic, figures reveal.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 8:28 am
Home Office data shows 824 attacks on police officers were recorded between April 2020 and March 2021. Photo: PA Images

The number of assaults across England and Wales has been described as “disgusting” by the Police Federation, which says many offences involved spitting and coughing during a time of fear over the spread of Covid-19.

Home Office data shows 824 attacks on police officers were recorded by Humberside Police between April 2020 and March 2021.

That was an increase from the 764 reported the previous year, and the highest number since comparable figures began in 2017-18.

Of the attacks in 2020-21, 168 resulted in an injury to the officer, compared to 194 the previous year, while in 656 cases the officer escaped physically unhurt.

The figures reflect a jump in such attacks across England and Wales, where recorded assaults on officers increased 14% during the pandemic period, to around 37,000.

They included 11,200 which left officers injured.

The creation of “assault with injury on a constable” as a new category of crime five years ago has meant more assaults on officers are now recorded.

However, the Home Office said the figures are still likely to be an underestimate because the categories showing an attack on an officer do not include more serious offences such as attempted murder.

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation for England and Wales, said the data showed the “disgusting level of violence” faced by officers working throughout the pandemic.

He said: “More than 100 of my colleagues are assaulted every single day – that’s a staggering number and something society must not accept.”

The Home Office said it had provided funding to police forces for more than 7,000 Taser devices to help protect officers.

A spokesperson added: “Our brave police officers go to work every day to protect the public and being attacked should never be part of the job.

“Anyone who commits these despicable assaults should expect to face the full force of the law.”