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Conference 2016 | "Home Secretary should increase sentences for those who attack police officers"

The Government must do more to ensure that officers receive the full support of the law when they are assaulted on duty, the Federation has said.

Steve White called on the Home Secretary to increase sentences for those who attack or injure police officers, the annual Police Federation of England and Wales conference in Bournemouth heard this week.

Mr White said: "We see harsher sentences for financial crime than we do for physical assault. The law must not put wealth ahead of wellbeing. And so, Home Secretary, I ask you today commit to increase sentences for all public servants who are assaulted while doing their job - helping and serving their communities."

The Home Office and the Federation have been working together to improve data collection on officer assaults under Operation Hampshire, a project that should be hailed as a success, the conference heard.

But further work needed to be done if officers are to be protected, Mr White added, saying that "coppers should be put ahead of cash" when it comes to the wider roll-out of Taser.

The conference heard that 97% of officers who have used Taser said it was beneficial.

Mr White said: "No police officer should ever go to work with an expectation that they will be injured. Home Secretary, the message from the rank and file is clear - we need Taser. Fewer police officers means those policing are often without the quick back-up and support needed if a situation turns violent. Taser protects the public; it protects us; It even protects offenders.

"Don't make chief officers use the already depleted police budget to roll it out. Home Secretary; please give them the extra money needed to do so. Government always finds money when it's needed. We should not put a price on public safety."

But the Home Secretary insisted that the number of Tasers deployed would remain an operational matter for chief constables to decide upon.

The Home Secretary announced in her address that she would do more to enable forces to protect vulnerable victims.

New training would be introduced to forces to ensure that domestic abuse receives the same level of professionalism as other crimes. Specialist interviewers will be introduced to forces alongside minimum training and standards in vulnerable victims.

Mrs May added: "This will mean victims are taken seriously and that you officers will not take on crimes that you are not trained to investigate properly."


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