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)