West Midlands Police have appealed for witnesses and information after a police officer was hit by a stolen car during a hit and run in Coventry.
The police officer was pushed onto the bonnet of the oncoming black Fiesta in Hermes Crescent, Wood End, at around 21:45 hours yesterday (29 September).
He was thrown to the floor but fortunately escaped with minor injuries as the car, later established to be on cloned plates, fled the area.
The Fiesta had initially been spotted acting suspiciously in nearby Lambeth Close, prompting it to be followed by officers. The vehicle was found abandoned in Doncaster Close, Wyken, an hour later.
Investigating officers are keen to hear from anyone who was in the Wood End area around the time and may have dashcam footage. They are also trying to trace anyone who later saw anyone fleeing from the car.
Detective Sergeant Ged Gray, from WMP Force CID, said:
“It’s through sheer fortune the officer was not seriously injured.
“After being followed into Hermes Close, the driver tried to mount the kerb to get away. As an officer approached the car, they were deliberately driven at and ended up on the bonnet.
“They were carried a short distance before being flung to the ground, and the car was driven away.
“We really need to hear from anyone who saw anything and has not already spoken to us, or has heard anything since, which could help us catch whoever was involved.”
Anyone with information can contact West Midlands Police online via Live Chat, or by calling 101, and quoting 20CV/236235Z/20.
The news comes at a time when the National Police Chiefs’ Council has said that levels of crime are now close to pre-lockdown levels.
Snapshot figures released today based on preliminary police recorded crime provided to the National Police Chiefs’ Council from 43 forces in England and Wales (excluding fraud, which is recorded by centrally by Action Fraud) cover the four weeks to 30 August compared with the same period in 2019.
This is the sixth crime trends update since the beginning of Coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions across England and Wales and indicates crime trends have returned close to pre-lockdown levels after a 28 per cent reduction at the height of lockdown.
Mental health incidents were up five per cent in this reporting period, reflecting an increasing trend observed by most forces in the last few months.
Assaults on emergency service workers saw a concerning a 29 per cent rise compared to the same period last year.
This is a snapshot of an offence type which is typically recorded in low volumes – data may therefore fluctuate between reporting periods.
The rise in assaults is primarily due to increases in assaults without injury, which may be driven by scenarios such as common assault on staff.
Reported rape saw a four per cent rise, and recorded domestic abuse incidents increased by seven per cent over the snapshot period compared to the same period in 2019.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair, Martin Hewitt said:
“Police are busy tackling and preventing crime, and providing a policing service to their communities, while continuing to play their part in the national effort to limit the spread of coronavirus. We have returned to pre-lockdown levels of demand. I’d like to thank all officers and staff who continue to give their best every day, in challenging circumstances, in order to keep communities safe.
“Chief Constables will be assessing the threats and risks in their local areas, alongside the national and local Covid-19 restrictions in place, and will be resourcing their patrols and responses accordingly.
“As we’ve shockingly seen throughout the pandemic, there continues to be a concerning rise in assaults against emergency service workers. We will use the full force of the law to prosecute anyone who uses violence against those who are on the front line.”