National Chair responds to rise in assaults and mental health incidents
Statistics show an 'unacceptable and appalling increase'
The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, John Apter, has responded to the NPCC's release of provisional figures showing how crime demand has changed since the pandemic began.
Mr Apter said:
"These statistics show an unacceptable and appalling 29 per cent increase on emergency service workers, compared to the same period last year. Given that police officers are doing their level best to help protect people during this pandemic, some people need to take a long, hard look at themselves and their behaviour.
"Being assaulted as a frontline worker, whether that's police, fire, health or prison, must not be tolerated and those who do so must feel the full weight of the criminal justice system come down on them.
"The recent return to pre-COVID crime levels comes as no surprise, as during lockdown there were fewer people out and therefore less opportunities to commit crime. Regrettably, I am not surprised either to see the rise in the number of call outs for mental health incidents. This has been steadily increasing year on year and the police are often seen as the first port of call when people need help.
"My colleagues will continue to do their job to the best of their ability, but as I have said many times before, there is no magic box of extra officers waiting to be opened, and undoubtedly policing will struggle with this increased demand."