The number of reported assaults on police officers in Lincolnshire has increased by nearly 125% since 2016.
According to data obtained through a freedom of information request, the number of attacks on police officers has sharply risen since 2016 when 79 incidents were reported, 141 were reported in 2017, and 177 in 2018.
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones says the increase is down to a “cultural shift” within the force resulting in an increase in the reporting of assaults: “What we’ve seen is a real cultural shift to where officers are reporting it properly.”
He added: “We want to make sure officers don’t just put up with this and accept it as part of their daily job, they need to report it so it can be recorded and appropriate support for them can be provided.”
Lincolnshire Police currently has 1118 police officers, 118 police community support officers, and 150 special constables. In 2018, 12% of the force reported that they had been assaulted in the course of their duty, a rise of 2% from the previous year.
The information shows the number of incidents resulting in officers needing time off work has largely stayed the same with 16 incidents in 2018, meanwhile, the number of incidents that required hospital treatment saw a 75% increase on the previous year, rising to 21 incidents.
Last year, the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act was introduced following pressure from campaigners, it specifically categorises this type of assault and attaches longer sentences. Mr Jones says the introduction of this law was a “significant step forward in protecting officers”.
Mr Jones says the geography of Lincolnshire presents a challenge, with over 2,500sq miles to cover ,“our officers are often a long way from help”. He added that fairer funding for Lincolnshire Police is “vital to make sure we can reduce this number further.”
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