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'My colleagues are not objects' - Five police officers assaulted while on duty

PUBLISHED: 14:39 20 October 2019 | UPDATED: 21:37 22 October 2019

Five police officers were assaulted in Norfolk on Saturday night. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Five police officers were assaulted in Norfolk on Saturday night. Picture: Lauren De Boise.

Archant

A police officer needed to have an injury to his head glued after an evening which saw him and four others assaulted while on duty.

On a typically busy Saturday night, officers were kicked, cut, bitten and bruised as they went about their work protecting the county.

But the attacks were not isolated to night life activity and were spread around the county, with incidents in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Dereham and north Norfolk.

The attacks have led to a stark warning from the chairman of Norfolk's police federation that officers can only be pushed so far before they walk away from the profession.

Andy Symonds, Norfolk Police Federation chairman, said: "If we continue down this slippery slope and more serious assaults happen officers might reach a point where they can not take any more.

Andy Symonds, chairman of Norfolk Police Federation. Picture Andy SymondsAndy Symonds, chairman of Norfolk Police Federation. Picture Andy Symonds

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"Some people see the uniform and think they can take a pop, that it is accepted as part and parcel of the job - but this is absolutely not the case. Officers are still human beings who have to go home to their partners, families and children and live ordinary lives.

"Police officers are in a uniquely vulnerable occupation, but the more this happens the more difficult it becomes for us to recruit them and provide the vital service we do in the way we do it."

One incident, in the north of the county, saw an officer kicked so hard to the head that it required gluing, while another officer was bitten in King's Lynn while dealing with a domestic disturbance.
Calling for harsher punishments to be given to those who assault officers, Mr Symonds added: "It is a sorry state of affairs where people can attack police officers and walk free."

Assistant chief constable Simon Megicks said: "It is completely unacceptable to assault a person who is simply going out to do their job and do their best to serve their community.

"Fortunately, the majority of these incidents do not end in serious injury, however, it will not be tolerated and as a force we will continue to work towards reducing the amount of physical attacks officers have to face whilst out on patrol in the county."

In November last year, new rules came into force introducing tougher sentences for those convicted of assaulting an emergency service worker.

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