Leeds rail station Britain's worst for attacks on police officers

Leeds rail station Britain's worst for attacks on police officers
Leeds rail station Britain's worst for attacks on police officers

MORE police officers are assaulted at Leeds rail station than at any other station in Britain, new figures show.

Officers were attacked 66 times between 2015 and 2018, Freedom of Information requests have shown.

In October, 22-year-old James Forrest, of Tilbury Grove, Leeds, was jailed for a drunken Bank Holiday weekend attack on a police officer at Leeds station.

He head-butted the officer, who had told him to leave, and was caught on a body camera saying “I am racist and proud”.

On March 6, an officer had to seek medical treatment after a drunk man spat in his face in a Leeds station lift.

Dominic Smith, 38, of Wilbert Grove, Beverley, was subsequently jailed for 20 weeks.

A police union condemned the “senseless” violence against officers on the transport network.

Nigel Goodband, chairman of the British Transport Police Federation, said: “Violence against police officers is shocking and shameful, and being assaulted on duty is not simply ‘part of the job’.

“It is wholly unacceptable that people who serve to protect their communities should face senseless violence while doing so. The minority who commit these offences must be made to face the consequences of their actions.”

British Transport Police called the figures a “shocking revelation”.

Also read: Violent crime on rise on Yorkshire's railways

Superintendent Darren Malpas said: “Attacks on officers will not be tolerated and every assault is one too many.

"These figures are a shocking reflection of the risks officers face while trying to keep others safe.”

London Victoria was second worst, with 60 assaults, closely followed by Manchester Piccadilly with 56 attacks in the last three years, the force said.

A large number of assaults were also reported at other stations in the capital, with 48 at Stratford in east London, 44 at St Pancras International, and Euston, Waterloo and Liverpool Street stations saw 43, 42, and 39 incidents respectively.

Overall, assaults on British Transport Police officers were recorded at more than 500 locations, including level crossings, hospitals and in custody, with 226 incidents of actual bodily harm, and a further 13 more serious grievous bodily harm offences.