John Apter, the Chairman of the Police Federation of England & Wales, has made a statement this morning that will strike a chord with many people both inside and outside of the Force.
For our civilian readers who might not know, then when a police officer is assaulted, the CPS, and the judiciary, in general, tend to see this assault as merely being a ‘part of the job’.
But police officers are not cage fighters; they are not paid to fight, they are paid to, in part, protect the public.
Whilst most police officers will expect a bit of ‘pushing & shoving’ when trying to uphold the law, most assaults which are inflicted upon police officers are far more serious than this and yet the very same legal system that police officers are sworn to protect, does not tend to afford them the same level of protection.
“Police officers who are assaulted on duty deserve to be treated as any other victim should be.
“They are not second class victims, being assaulted is not just ‘part of the job’, they deserve and should expect to be fully supported by their Force and the CPS.
“Please make sure you’re aware of the Victims Right to Review, it applies to police officers who have been the victim of crime.
“If you have been assaulted and the sentence is unduly lenient then your Force should look at all options, including appealing.
“Details of the Right to Review can be found in the below link.
“Being looked after following an assault (by your Force and the wider Criminal Justice system) is not a nice to have or a tick box, it is a must.
“If it’s not happening we must make it happen.
“The Victims Right to Review only covers the following;
•Not to charge
•To discontinue (or withdraw in the Magistrates’ Court) all charges thereby ending all proceedings.
•To offer no evidence in all proceedings.
•To leave all charges in the proceedings to “lie on file”
“To appeal an unduly lenient sentence is a separate process, I stress your Force (supported by your Chief) should be pushing this”.
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