Commissioner calls on public to 'get involved' if they see officers being assaulted
Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has echoed the views of Met Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh and said the filming and mocking of officers being assaulted is ‘disgusting’.
She’s called on passers to ‘get involved and help’ instead.
A spate of recent assaults on officers have been posted online by witnesses with many attracting comments supporting the perpetrators and mocking the police.
“It’s not a joke,” Met Police Federation Chairman Ken Marsh said, “and if the public now think it's okay to stand and film and mock my colleagues...then we are in very dangerous grounds.”
“What I want to see is society standing up and saying, ‘we’re not accepting this and if we see a police officer being assaulted like this we’re going to jump in and we’re going to help them’, as law abiding citizens.
Ken’s calls are being backed by Commissioner Dick. She told LBC Radio that she wants members of the public to get involved physically, depending on the circumstances, if they see officers being assaulted.
She added that the recent trend of people filming attacks on police and mockingly posting the footage online was ‘absolutely awful’.
"Officers getting assaulted and people thinking that's funny and putting it on the internet - I think that's disgusting,” she told LBC presenter Nick Ferrari.
In one of the videos shared online, a passing motorcyclist can be seen stepping in to help two officers who are being attacked after a routine traffic stop.
It’s something she would like to see more of, if members of the public feel able to.
"I think I want to live in a society, and I think I do live in a society, where people are active citizens,” she said.
"People stand up and say, 'that's not right, don't do that' and on occasion, if they feel able, get involved and do something physical.
"You have to look at the circumstances.
"If there's a man pointing a gun at you, we don't want you running at the man pointing the gun, that would be crazy.
"If you see an officer getting a kicking and you feel able to assist, absolutely I want my public getting involved, and we see people getting involved, including in some of those videos.
"We don't want people taking crazy risks, but we do want people getting involved," she added.
Ken has said that assaults on officers are now so violent that officers may have to end up letting suspects go.
“Are we now in a society where, if we think we can't detain somebody, we just let them go? It's just not worth it,” he said.
"We're going to come to a point where we're going to start pushing messages out to our colleagues, 'Risk-assess it dynamically and, if you think you can't detain a person, just let them go'.
"We don't come to work to get assaulted, and if we're not going to be backed up in what we're doing then what is the point?"
Commissioner Dick finished the interview by saying new Scotland Yard figures were now showing a levelling off in violent crime in the capital.
In September, October and November this year there were 176 fewer victims of knife crime with injury aged under 25 than in the same three months in 2017, a 31% reduction, she said.
Over the course of a year, there has been a drop of 287 victims, a 13% decrease.