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Chairman speaks to 40 MPs about Police officer assaults

west-yorks-parliament-5West Yorkshire Police Federation Chairman Nick Smart met 40 MPs at the House of Commons, as he talked to them about the issue of police assaults and police officer safety.

Nick was joined by PC Craig Gallant, who took Halifax MP Holly Lynch out on patrol in August.

Holly was so concerned for Craig’s safety during an incident that she called 999 for backup.

That prompted her to organise yesterday’s event so other MPs could discuss the issue of assaults on police officers.

Also at the event were Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney, Shipley MP Philip Davies and Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff.

Holly called on the Government to ensure harsher sentencing for those convicted of assaulting officers, and highlighted the operational impact of budget cuts throughout England and Wales.

She said: “We’re not collecting the information on assaults on police officers properly so I am asking the Home Office to record every time a police officer is assaulted in the line of duty.

“I’m then asking them to work with colleagues in the Ministry of Justice and the judiciary to make sure that there are tough sentences that are a very clear deterrent to anyone thinking about assaulting a police officer.

“And then looking at those wider challenges to policing – why are they so stretched? We’ve had really significant cuts. We’ve lost more than 19,000 officers across the country, and that is having an operational impact on the front line.

“There are fewer officers so they are being deployed on their own and they’re quite vulnerable in doing that.”

Former Shadow Policing Minister Jack Dromey also spoke to Nick and Craig at the House of Commons.

He said: “I strongly support our police service, who do a great job, often in very trying circumstances – ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things to safeguard the public.

“We have a duty to those police officers that if they are assaulted, those who assault them receive a custodial sentence.

“I think it’s absolutely wrong that you can have a situation where an officer arrives at a serious event, is assaulted and then sees the perpetrator get a community service order. It is completely wrong.

“We need to send an unmistakable message that if you assault a police officer in the line of his or her duty, you go to jail.”

Mr Dromey also suggested that more MPs should spend a shift with officers at the “sharp end” so they can understand how important the police service is to members of the public.

Date posted: November 1, 2016

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