The officer whose safety MP Holly Lynch was so concerned for that she dialled 999 for backup when he was surrounded by a group of men while on patrol has said every single one of his colleagues has been assaulted on duty.
PC Craig Gallant (left) made the comments at an event in the House of Commons – organised by Holly – at which he and West Yorkshire Police Federation Chairman Nick Smart spoke to more than 40 MPs about police officer safety.
He said: “I’ve been assaulted on a number of occasions. Probably the worst one being when I was bitten on my arm and I needed medical treatment.
“I would say that every officer I know has been assaulted at some point in their policing career but not every assault has been recorded.”
Craig said of his evening on patrol with the Halifax MP: “She witnessed first hand how vulnerable police officers can be executing their duty Assaults on police officers are not acceptable – it’s overlooked and under recorded.”
He added that MPs should review how assaults on police officers are recorded so there is a true figure. The latest figures recorded by the Home Office showed that 23,000 officers were assaulted in a year across England and Wales.
“Sentencing for perpetrators of assaults on police officers needs to be tougher because assaults have a wider impact on policing in general,” he said.
“As a police officer on the front line, I try to conduct my duty to the best of my ability and use minimal force, if force is required. As front line police officers we don’t want to use force.
“This is wider than West Yorkshire Police, it’s bigger than the Federation, it needs to be dealt with at Government level.”
PC Craig Gallant is pictured at the House of Commons with Holly Lynch MP, Police Federation of England and Wales Vice-Chairman Calum Macleod and Nick Smart.
Date posted: November 1, 2016