In the early hours of 10th December, Sussex Police responded to a report of a man wielding a knife in the vicinity of Gales Drive, Crawley.
He was challenged by officers and started to run, but was quickly apprehended by PC Claire Harrison and her dog, PD Polly.
PD Polly is a five-year-old German Shepherd-Malinois cross. She is a general purpose police dog trained in various disciplines including searching open ground or buildings for suspects, tracking suspects or missing people, and searching for discarded property.
After the suspect was detained, a six-inch kitchen knife was found beneath him, which was seized by officers.
The male was then identified as 27-year-old Ryan Evans, a scaffolder of Lark Rise, Crawley.
Whilst being taken to a police vehicle, Evans attempted to headbutt the officers before kicking out at one, hitting the officer in the chest. Fortunately, no visible injuries were caused.
He was subsequently arrested and charged with possession of an offensive weapon in public and assaulting an emergency worker.
On 7th January at Lewes Crown Court, Evans was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment.
Chief Constable Jo Shiner said:
“I do not accept that being assaulted is part of any police officer’s job, and any such behaviour will not be tolerated.
“I believe an assault on a police officer or member of my police staff is an exceptional action against the rule of law and has a wider impact on policing as a whole. Violent attacks on our officers and staff can result in long-term injuries and sickness, directly reducing the amount of viable policing which consequently puts greater pressure on colleagues, increasing the risk of crime within communities.
“As Chief Constable, I am committed to providing my officers, staff and the communities of Sussex with the level of protection and safety that they deserve. Such behaviour and assaults on police officers and staff has a direct impact on my ability to do this.
“Every day across Sussex, officers and staff put themselves in harm’s way to protect the public. They do this willingly, knowing the risks involved, because they are brave and dedicated public servants.”
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