Judges urged to give out tough sentences after police officer assaulted in Blackpool
Judges are being told to give out tougher sentences to criminals attacking police officers after a police officer was assaulted in Blackpool over the weekend.
Three men and a 15-year-old boy were arrested in South Shore after allegedly menacing police officers responding to a street brawl.
The incident happened after officers responded to reports of a fight in the street in Kingsmede, off Highfield Road, in the South Shore area on Saturday morning.
A spokesman for Blackpool Police said one of the men was allegedly ‘goading’ his dog to attack officers as it barked and lunged towards them.
Another of the men is believed to have got onto a police car and started stamping on it, causing damage to the roof and window.
Rachel Hanley, chairman of the Police Federation’s Lancashire Branch has called on judges to dish out strong sentences for police officer assaults following the incident.
She said: “Policing is a dangerous and unpredictable job, we know that, but it is essential that officers are given the support equipment and back up they need to do that job safely.
“The judiciary needs to stop being soft on offenders who assault officers and should use their full powers when considering sentencing.
“Any assault on an officer should not just be part of the job. We’ve had some nice words from the Government about increasing police numbers, this will go some way to repairing the damage that has been done to policing.”
The incident happened just three days after the killing of a police officer near Reading in Berkshire on Thursday August 15.
PC Andrew Harper, 28, had been responding to a burglary report when he was struck by a vehicle and dragged along the road.
Thames Valley Police said the recently married officer had died after sustaining “multiple injuries”.
Ten males, aged between 13 and 30, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Mrs Hanley believes all officers should be allowed to carry Tasers in order to combat attacks.
She said: “All to often we are waking up to horrendous news about another attack on our police officers, we have long been campaigning that all officers who want to, should be allowed to carry Taser, but progress is too slow, money needs to be ring fenced from government to allow our officers to be protected and for them to be able to protect our communities.”
Another person was arrested last week on the Promenade after allegedly spitting and racially abusing officers during a traffic stop.
The man is said to have had no insurance for a Mercedes he was driving and after being told by police he was free to leave, the man is believed to have spat and racially abused the officers dealing with the incident.
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner believes the resort’s officers safety is an ‘absolute priority.’
He said: “Officers go above and beyond, to keep the people of Lancashire safe.
“Myself and Lancashire Constabulary take any assaults on officers seriously and their safety is an absolute priority.
“With less resources and increasing pressures on the service after years of, officers are working around the clock to make our streets and communities safer and it is totally unacceptable that officers, and indeed other emergency services, are the subjects of attacks and it is important we continue to recognise the professionalism and bravery that officers show every day.”
The attack follows a police car being damaged in Fleetwood last month after a gang of “100 youths” caused chaos outside Marine Hall.
Following the incident on July 30, a dispersal order was put in place for the following evening however another police car was damaged during that time by stone-throwing youths.
Police arrested a 14 year old boy from Fleetwood on suspicion of public order offences. He was later released pending investigation.
Following the attack in South Shore, police arrested a 29-year-old man who was charged with criminal damage to a police vehicle.
A 24-year-old man was arrested and charged with a public order offence, resisting arrest and being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control.
A 15-year-old boy and 45-year-old man were also arrested for assaulting a police officer.
They have since been released under investigation.