Drop in assaults on resort police

Inspector Keith Ogle, Fylde's geographic inspector
Inspector Keith Ogle, Fylde's geographic inspector
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Assaults against police officers in Blackpool and South Fylde have dropped, according to new figures

Statistics obtained by The Gazette under the Freedom of Information Act show the number of officers assaulted in the line of duty have dropped by almost half since 2011.

The same figures also show that while the number of complaints of assault against police in Lancashire has gone down over the same period of time, there were two more allegations made against officers in Western Division (which covers the southern part of the Fylde coast) in 2013 compared to 2012.

But Keith Ogle (pictured inset), temporary Chief Inspector of general policing for Western Division, says the force hopes such statistics will dwindle.

He said: “We would certainly be working towards that but complaints are inevitable. In terms of defensive tactics most of these complaints have an explanation as to why we did this to (the complainant).

“We’re there to serve the public, the vast majority of the public support us and entering into any sort of physicality with members of the public is the last resort.”

The figures showed over the course of three years there had been 110 complaints of assault against officers in Western Division (40 in 2011, 34 in 2012 and 36 in 2013) but no officers had been convicted of any wrongdoing.

Over the same time period 237 officers were assaulted in the line of duty (102 in 2011, 77 in 2012 and 58 in 2013).

Chief Insp Ogle added: “They’ve gone down which is a real positive for us because we want to see fewer of our officers suffer harm so they can spend more time at work.

“Assaults against police staff or any public servants are unacceptable but in terms of the number of incidents we attend this is a very small proportion.”