Dudley, UK – In a chilling incident, two West Midlands Police officers were assaulted when responding to a distress call, marking a disturbing uptick in threats faced by the police force.
The officers called to assist a man who was reportedly self-harming, were victims of an unprovoked attack as the man spat blood into their faces and eyes.
Richard Cooke, Chair of the West Midlands Police Federation, denounced the attack as “disturbing” and “nasty,” highlighting that the officers were attempting to protect the man “for his own safety.”
But the physical damage is not the only cause for concern; Cooke underlined the mental and psychological impact of such assaults.
Echoing these sentiments, Cooke spoke from personal experience when describing an incident where he was assaulted by a suspect carrying a contagious disease.
“I had to spend the night in A&E… and for the next three months I had to have a series of tests to make sure nothing had come in my blood,” he explained.
The rising threats faced by West Midlands Police officers have become worryingly commonplace, with around 300 assaults reported every month.
Roughly 10% of these attacks result in serious physical or psychological injuries.
In the year ending March 2023, there were a staggering 2,917 recorded assaults on West Midlands Police officers – a rate of 4.3 assaults per 1,000 officers.
This number stands out as being significantly higher than the national average of 2.9 assaults per 1,000 officers in England and Wales.
In recent years, there’s been an increase in the reprehensible act of “spitting” at officers.
The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) reported 1,029 incidents of officers being spat at or having blood or bodily fluids intentionally coughed or spattered at them across England and Wales in the year ending March 2023.
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Cooke also emphasised the urgent need for investment in quality training and welfare measures for police officers, adding, “Officers on the front end are really stretched.”
The police force confirmed the incident took place in Pensnett, with a spokesperson stating, “A man was taken to hospital where he is currently receiving treatment. Our enquiries are continuing.”
The incident, and the concerning statistics, lay bare the often-understated risks police officers face daily, underscoring the necessity for comprehensive measures to ensure their safety and well-being.
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