Almost 1,000 reported assaults on Leicestershire Police officers last year

Almost 1,000 assaults on police officers were reported in Leicestershire last year. The vast majority of these – 594 out of 920 – happened in Leicester itself and 147 of the city incidents resulted in an injury to the officer.

The figures for 2023 released by the Government also show such incidents are increasing both locally and nationally. Across the city and county in 2021 there were 809 reported assaults on Leicestershire Police officers.

Of those, 553 were in the city. In 2022, there was a slight increase to 825 reports locally, with 512 in Leicester.

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In the county, Charnwood has consistently had the highest number of reports of all the districts and boroughs. There were 89 incidents in 2021, 99 in 2022 and 89 last year. You can see all the figures for the local area in the interactive map below.

In August last year, local officer Pc Jagruti Chhaganlal was on duty in Beaumanor Road, Leicester, when she was violently attacked by James Nutting. Nutting, 44, of Beaumanor Road, Leicester, punched and then kicked her multiple times as she lay on the floor before walking off. He later pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and was jailed for three years and six months in February.

Speaking after the case, Leicestershire chief constable Rob Nixon spoke out about attacks on officers. He said: “This violent attack on one of our officers while on duty left me deeply troubled and reflective about the unacceptable nature of assaults on police officers. This incident is a stark reminder of the risks they face daily while working tirelessly to serve and protect the community.

“It is utterly unacceptable for those who dedicate their lives to keeping us safe to be subjected to abuse and violence in the line of duty. As a community, we should stand united against such heinous acts and ensure that any assault on an emergency worker is swiftly pursued.”

He also issued a message to emergency workers, saying: “I want to reassure all emergency workers that all reports are taken seriously, and we will not accept it as merely something that comes with the job. As this case demonstrates those responsible will be pursued and prosecuted.

“I would urge communities to support this as we need to create an environment where emergency workers feel safe and supported in order to carry out their duties for all our benefit. The dedication and bravery demonstrated by police officers and other emergency service workers should be appreciated and honoured, not met with violence. It’s essential that we together send out a strong signal that this type of behaviour is unacceptable.”

Across England and Wales last year, there were more than 44,000 assaults, with one in four attacks causing injury to the officer. That was a 9 per cent increase from about 41,000 assaults in 2022 and 48 per cent higher than five years ago before the pandemic in 2019 when there were less than 33,000 incidents.

A National Police Chiefs' Council spokesperson said: “The health and wellbeing of our workforce is a top priority for all police chiefs, and we are constantly listening to feedback from those on the ground. Policing is a stressful job, and officers can be exposed to some of life's most challenging situations, which is why they are specially trained to try and reduce the risk to themselves and others.

“Assaults on our frontline workers are absolutely deplorable, and what makes these figures even more unacceptable is that officers come to harm when trying to keep others and the wider community safe. These figures highlight the reality faced by many officers on a daily basis and it is only right that offenders are identified and put before the courts so they can be prosecuted.

“We recognise the challenges of the role and the impact this can have on our workforce which is why we work closely with Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service (NPWS), which provides support and guidance for police forces across England and Wales to improve and build organisational wellbeing, working in conjunction with leading charities and staff associations. Managing wellbeing is an open-ended process and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure our workforce remain robust, resilient and ask for support when needed.”