Assaults on Metropolitan Police officers jumped by 17% to 7,026 last year – an average of nearly 20 a day.
Half of these resulted in injury, according to the data released by the force this week.
Sir Stephen House, Deputy Commissioner, has called for body worn footage of police assaults of police to be shown in court in every prosecution to ensure the severity of the crime is recognised.
He said the footage would show “the ferocity, the sheer aggression and violence levels” of incidents and ensure that judges and magistrates understood “what it’s like to be on the receiving end of this” when sentencing offenders.
Ken Marsh, Metropolitan Police Federation Chair, said: “We totally agree with the views of Sir Stephen House and have been calling for this for some time. The dangers our members face are real and they are every day.
“Such a huge rise in assaults on our colleagues is hugely concerning. Officers are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, husbands, wives and partners. They should be going home to their families at the end of their shifts, not to hospital.
“We need the courts to hand out appropriate punishments and deterrents to those who would assault out colleagues. We must protect the protectors.”
The force also logged 1,615 hate crimes in 2020, including abuse of black officers by both white and black offenders. There were also 98 incidents in which an offender coughed at an officer claiming to have Covid and another 49 when a suspect claiming to be infected spat at police.
Sir Stephen added: “Officers feel sometimes that assaults on them are not taken seriously by the criminal justice system and that really affects morale. We need the criminal justice system joined up on this. What we want is the officer’s body worn video shown in court even when there is a guilty plea because we want the magistrates or the crown court to see the impact and the ferocity and the sheer aggression and violence levels.”
He said that a robbery during which an officer was assaulted was an example of the type of case in which “the suspect goes to court, pleads guilty to the robbery, and the judge says ‘I sentence you to the maximum and I won’t sentence you any more for the assault’.
Sir Stephen added: “That really upsets our officers and it upsets me. Basically, it’s saying the robbery is important but you’re not. Sometimes the system doesn’t pay enough attention to our officers or our staff and that’s what we are working on.”
To see the Evening Standard story in full, go to: https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/scotland-yard-met-police-stephen-house-body-camera-