West Yorkshire sees rise in serious attacks on police officers

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The number of serious attacks on officers resulting in injury rose in West Yorkshire last year, figures reveal.

An urgent review into police safety has been launched, with the Police Federation of England and Wales saying the attacks are “completely unacceptable”, and calling for a wider roll-out of Tasers.

Home Office data shows that 480 assaults resulting in officer injuries were recorded by West Yorkshire Police in 2018-19, compared to 413 during the previous year. The figures reflect a growth in such attacks across England and Wales, where injuries to officers through assault increased 27 per cent during the period, to around 10,400.

The data was published for the first time in 2017-18, when “assault with injury on a constable” became a new category of crime.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents rank-and-file officers, said: “The rise in assaults on our officers is completely unacceptable and must never be seen as just part of the job. The recent surge of serious, high-profile attacks is a serious concern, and the federation will continue to push for a wider roll-out of Tasers, supporting all frontline officers who want to carry one in passing the required assessments to do so.”

West Yorkshire Police also recorded 1,417 assaults without injury on officers in 2018-19, up from 953 the previous year.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Being attacked should never be part of the job for our courageous police officers, who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us.”