Shocking number of emergency workers assaulted in West Yorkshire in last 12 months

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Emergency workers are being assaulted more often in West Yorkshire, figures have shown.

Home Office figures show West Yorkshire Police recorded 2,254 assaults on emergency workers in the year to March.

Most of the alleged victims were police constables – there were 1,743 assaults without injury on PCs last year and 433 with injury, while there were 78 on other emergency workers.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The total number recorded last year was up from 2,249 in 2020-21, when assaults on emergency workers who are not police constables were recorded for the first time.

Police (generic)Police (generic)
Police (generic)

Since the Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill came into law in 2018, the maximum prison sentence for common assault on an emergency worker has been 12 months.

The offence applies to attacks on 'blue light' workers such as the police, paramedics and fire fighters, along with many others, including prison officers, NHS workers, and St John’s Ambulance volunteers.

The Police Federation said the rise in assaults must not be tolerated or seen as "just part of the job”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Steve Hartshorn, national chairman of the organisation, added: “Crime levels rose once Covid restrictions were lifted and a split-second act of violence, whether an injury is sustained or not, often leaves devastating and long-term effects on police officers.

"The physical and mental scars of these assaults can last a lifetime and are unacceptable.

“Assaults on emergency workers are a stain on society and many of these assaults which are recorded without an injury would have been vile spitting and coughing attacks."

He said it is vital judges and magistrates make full use of the new law to ensure the sentence handed down reflects the seriousness and gravity of the crime.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Separate figures show that the proportion of offenders charged has fallen nationwide, from 68 per cent to just 62 per cent in 2021-22.

In West Yorkshire, 2,225 emergency worker assault investigations concluded last year, with 68 per cent resulting in a charge or summons – which was unchanged from the rate in 2020-21.

PTSD 999, a support organisation for all emergency services, say stronger sentencing for offenders would protect both the public and those facing assaults.