UK

Violence against police ‘getting worse’, federation warns – as officers killed are honoured

The level of violence against police has increased in recent years, according to an organisation representing rank and file officers in England and Wales.

John Apter, chair of the Police Federation, told Sky News that his colleagues accepted that policing is dangerous but now some people "want to kick them when they are down and then kick them again".

Image: John Apter is chair of the Police Federation
Matt Ratana was a custody sergeant in Croydon
Image: Matt Ratana was a custody sergeant in Croydon who was shot by a suspect

He was speaking on National Police Memorial Day, with an annual remembrance service planned to honour officers who have lost their lives on duty.

It will be held virtually for the first time in its 17-year history due to coronavirus restrictions, with the Prince of Wales leading the tributes.

Among those being remembered will be Sergeant Matt Ratana, who was allegedly killed by a handcuffed suspect at Croydon Custody Centre in south London early on Friday.

Advertisement

Mr Apter said Sgt Ratana's death was "heartbreaking and devastating news for the policing family and beyond".

Speaking about violence against officers, he told Sky News: "What we've seen over the past few years is the level of violence which has increased. In the 'old days', if somebody wanted to escape arrest they'd assault a police officer and off they'd run.

More from Covid-19

"But now we seem to have people who will assault a police officer and then kick them when they are down and then kick them again."

He added: "We are recording violence against my colleagues much better but we are a more violent society without a shadow of a doubt and my colleagues are on the frontline of that and unfortunately facing some of that violence."

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick lays a wreath at the National Police Memorial in London to mark National Police Memorial Day
Image: Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick laid a wreath to mark National Police Memorial Day
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick, Home Secretary Priti Patel and London Mayor Sadiq Khan (not pictured) attend the National Police Memorial in London to mark National Police Memorial Day.

It comes as former policing minister Mike Penning said poor attitudes towards officers started with politicians, who he accused of "hampering and undermining normal police officers".

"This lack of respect comes from the top, fRead More – Source