Thu. Dec 9th, 2021

Met Police assaults: Attacks on officers up 40% during lockdown

Attacks on police in London have risen sharply during the coronavirus lockdown, exclusive figures have shown.

Met Police figures showed 2,027 assaults on officers were recorded between May and July, a 38% increase compared with the same period in 2019.

Scotland Yard said the rise was partly driven by a series of high-profile protests and unlicensed music events marred by confrontations with police.

Assaults could have “long-term effects” on officers, the Met said.

In the 12 months to the end of July 2020, there were 6,668 victims of assaults on police, a 16% increase compared with the previous year.

Police said a series of high-profile events that turned into confrontations had “contributed” to the increase, including protests by Black Lives Matter and far-right groups, and a series of unlicensed music events.

The figures included Covid-related assaults, in which officers were spat at or coughed on – which often had multiple victims.

PC Nick Morley said he was “lucky to escape with his life” when he was flung from a moving car while on duty.

Mr Morley was left with a broken wrist and injuries to his leg after a routine traffic stop spiralled out of control.

“We pulled over a car because it was driving a bit too quickly,” he told the BBC.

During questioning the driver tried to drive off but Mr Morley jumped into the car as a “reflex action”.

“He sped off at full speed with me still in the car,” he said.

“We got to 50mph and I thought to myself this is going to end really, really badly if I don’t jump out.

“I remember making the decision to jump out of the car and then I remember rolling a couple of times as a hit the floor.

“I had a massive rush of adrenaline and I just lay down in the middle of the road and trying to take in what had happened.”

Mr Morley, who is now a sergeant with the Westminster emergency response unit, said the incident was “always in the back of my mind”.

“I’m not scared, but now as a supervisor it surprises me how often PCs get assaulted on a daily basis.

“In my opinion its getting worse and I don’t know how to stop that.”

Jamie Williams, 23, from Croydon was given a suspended 18 months prison sentence and disqualified from driving for two years over the assault.

The incident will feature in the documentary “Police Call Zero” on Channel 5.

Source: (BBC News)