The surge in assaults on Staffordshire police officers has been thrown into sharp focus with the jailing of a man who violently attacked two officers in Leek.
Michael Noble, 33, has been handed a 21-month prison sentence after a brutal assault that included punches, strangulation, and even pushing the officers down a flight of stairs.
According to a Freedom of Information request, Staffordshire Police have reported 404 assaults on their officers in the 12 months from March 2022 to February 2023.
One hundred ten of these attacks resulted in injuries and 14 required hospital treatment.
The most common forms of assault were kicks or punches, followed by spitting and shoving.
In April, officers were called to an address following a frantic call for help that was made during a domestic incident. Noble was refusing to leave an address.
Upon trying to remove him, the police faced a volley of punches and strangulation attempts from Noble.
Amid the struggle, he forcefully pushed both officers down a flight of stairs.
Regardless of the severity of the attack, the officers bravely continued their attempts to arrest Noble and managed to handcuff him a short time later.
While being transported to custody in a police vehicle, Noble bit another officer.
Most of these attacks typically occurred on the street or in people’s homes, with the highest frequency between 19:00 hours and 23:00 hours.
Surprisingly, the vast majority of these assaults weren’t severe enough to result in criminal charges.
However, in the past year, there were 10 cases requiring hospital treatment and 2 cases involving weapon attacks.
The incident involving Noble, which ended in his sentencing at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court for assault by beating of an emergency worker, intentional strangulation, and two counts of assault, thereby occasioning actual bodily harm, underscores the growing dangers facing police officers.
As the prevalence of such assaults increases, urgent questions must be raised about the protection of officers and measures that can be implemented to curb these violent incidents.
Speaking following the sentencing, Chief Inspector John Owen, said:
“This was a violent incident where our officers have been attacked whilst serving the local community.
“Our officers work tirelessly to protect the public and keep our streets safe on a daily basis. They do not deserve to be treated like this.
“I’d like to recognise their commitment to protecting the public and the bravery they showed to continue apprehending this offender despite his violent attempts to avoid justice.
“These officers will continue to be offered the right support to make sure they can continue protecting the public which they proudly serve.”
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