New videos show the harsh reality of policing

23 April 2018

Police officers, a paramedic and a prison officer are speaking about the harrowing assaults they have experienced on duty in new videos released today.

The short films set the scene for a longer video which is due to be screened on 22-23 May at our annual conference – whose theme this year is ‘Protecting the Protectors: The Reality of Policing’. They include testimony from an ambulance paramedic who was sexually assaulted by her patient, a prison officer who nearly died when he was slashed across his head and face with a razor blade and police officers who have been respectively bitten, choked, attacked with deadly weapons, slammed against the ground and kicked in the face.

Calum Macleod, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “The videos show the bravery of our emergency services and the dangers they face every time they put on the uniform. It cannot be right that they should be at risk of being attacked, wounded and scarred physically and emotionally just for doing their job serving the public.”

This is not ‘part of the job’ and nor should it ever be. This is why the Federation and our partners, the British Transport Police Federation and the Prison Officers’ Association, have been campaigning for tougher sentences for those who assault emergency service workers. We are backing the Assaults on Emergency Services (Offences) Bill sponsored by Labour MP for Rhondda, Chris Bryant, which returns to Parliament on Friday 27 April 2018 for its report stage. It proposes to make an assault against the emergency services an aggravating factor and has enjoyed cross party support to date.

Mr Macleod added: “The courts must send the strongest message that an assault on the emergency services is an attack on society itself and will not be tolerated. So we are thankful to Chris Bryant and all of the MPs who are backing the call for tougher sentences. We must Protect the Protectors.”

Research by the Federation suggests more than two million officers were subject to an unarmed physical assault in 2016 and 300,000 more were attacked with a deadly weapon. This equates to roughly one assault every four minutes - a frightening and unacceptable reality. Assaults are also commonplace against NHS staff, paramedics, firefighters and prison officers.  In addition a study by the Institute of Alcohol Studies in 2015, found that 52% of ambulance service workers have been subjected to sexual harassment or assault by somebody who is intoxicated. 41% of police and 34% of fire and rescue staff have been sexually harassed by drunken people. Therefore Mr Bryant’s Bill will also seek to make it an aggravated offence to commit a sexual assault against an emergency services worker.

We encourage you to lobby your MP to support the Bill and you can back the campaign by using the Twitter hashtag #ProtectTheProtectors. See the Protect the Protectors page for case studies and more about the campaign.