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Racist abuse aimed at officers continues to rise

The number of officers facing discriminatory abuse continues to rise.
Published - 07/08/2017 By - Sophie Garrod - Police Oracle

Racist abuse against officers will only continue to increase if the government fails to help stamp it out, a local federation chairman has warned.

Figures released by West Midlands Police reveal hate crimes towards officers have continued to rise each year.

Over the past five years reported incidents have soared with an increase of more than 50 per cent from 134 in 2012 to 205 last year.

Speaking of his experience as a custody officer, Chairman of West Midlands Police Federation Tom Cuddeford said: “If there was a black officer, an Asian officer and a white officer, the black and Asian officers will always get the abuse.

“When there is an assault positive action needs to be taken and courts need to give the best sentence possible.

“We are not going to allow individuals or give them the opportunity to abuse our officers. It’s unfair.

“They can’t keep doing this, it’s an absolute disgrace.”

Mr Cuddeford says in today's current climate the government must lead by example on this issue.

He added: “With the society we are living in today positive action needs to be taken by the government to stamp out hate crimes.

“It’s got to be tackled because if not, unfortunately, the figures will only increase in my view.”

Out of the 205 incidents that occurred last year, 129 offenders were charged or summoned to court whilst others were cautioned.

In 22 cases there was a lack of evidence to take matters further, which raises the topic of equipping officers with body-worn video.

The Federation’s Protect the Protectors campaign not only calls for harsher sentences for thugs who assault officers, but better training for police officers and access to equipment such as body-worn video, Taser and spit and bite guards.

Assistant West Mids Police and Crime Commissioner, Ashley Bertie, said: “It is outrageous that during the course of their duty, police officers are attacked and subjected to hate crimes.

“They are hard-working public servants who should be allowed to go about their job without fear of violence or vile abuse.

“It is always outrageous to see figures relating to these sorts of attacks and I want those responsible to feel the full force of the law.

“It is the job of police officers to keep the public safe and it is totally unacceptable that they have to endure such treatment.

“Hate crime in all its forms is not acceptable. Challenging hate crimes is a priority of ours and West Midlands Police have a zero-tolerance policy on it.”

Earlier this year Police Oracle launched our BluePrint campaign. It calls on the government to meet its obligation of protecting officers both in the job and when they have been forced out of the service because of physical injuries or mental trauma.

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