WARRINGTON police chief Simon Meegan has spoken out after six of his officers were assaulted in four separate incidents over four days in February – including four female officers who required hospital treatment.
The incidents occurred between Sunday 17 February and Thursday 21 February.
The four officers who sustained injuries that required hospital treatment, were all women, including one who was assaulted on two separate occasions.
The spate of incidents have been branded ‘completely unacceptable’ by Chief Inspector Meegan and detrimental to the service his Warrington Local Policing Unit provides to the community.
He said: “The nature of policing inevitably requires officers to deal with violent and challenging situations but, regardless of the situation, being assaulted by a member of the public we serve should never be seen as an acceptable ‘part of the job’.
“To assault a police officer or any other emergency service worker is to attack society itself.
“Assaulting an emergency service worker is now an offence that is punishable by up to 12 months in prison.
“The spate of police officer assaults in Warrington – seven in four days – is completely unacceptable and a worry, for both my staff and the community itself, as officers being taken off the streets through being injured by members of the public impacts on the level of service we can provide.”
The woman PC who was assaulted twice in the space of four days suffered a head injury in one of the incidents. She is currently being treated in hospital.
Another officer who sustained a hand injury in the same incident also received hospital treatment but has since been discharged.
The other two officers who required hospital treatment after being assaulted in Warrington over the past week suffered head and arm injuries and a serious hand injury respectively.
The PC with the serious hand injury requires ongoing medical treatment.
Chief Inspector Meegan added: “When officers are assaulted it has a far wider effect than people may think.
“The officer may have to take time off work or be placed on restricted duties whilst they recover.
“Such absences and restrictions have a significant impact on the resourcing of incidents and the service we provide to the community.
“They increase pressures on other officers too, due to the additional responsibilities they have to take on to ensure that we meet the needs of the public.
“Assaults also often cause distress to family members, particularly when the officer suffers psychological or visible physical injuries.”
Four people have been arrested in relation to the incidents. Two have been charged, one is currently in custody helping with enquiries and one has been released on conditional bail pending further enquiries.