Police officer assault stats "shocking"

Statistics showing that one police officer is assaulted every 20 minutes in Britain have been branded as "shocking" by the police officers' union.

Last year 25,368 officers were assaulted, with the highest number of attacks in Strathclyde, London and the West Midlands.

The Police Federation of England and Wales said that the figure highlights the need for police officers to be "afforded the best possible protective equipment and training".

Conservative MP Grant Shapps compiled the report after requesting details from 51 police forces in England under the Freedom of Information Act.

It revealed that in the last five years one in six police officers has been assaulted.

Mr Shapps said that the report shows the "perilous reality of life on the front line".

"It is only by rebuilding a sense of social responsibility that we can hope to tackle this truly deep-rooted problem. Preventing our officers from being assaulted requires a change in attitude towards our police," he added.

"This is a process which starts at home and that means that backing the family and encouraging individuals to take responsibility for their actions must be at the heart of the government's response."

Commenting on the report, Jan Berry, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "Police officers are struggling to effectively and safely deliver a 24/7 emergency response to the public in the face of growing violence, increased assaults and dwindling numbers."

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