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Six Norfolk police officers assaulted in night of ‘shocking violence’

PUBLISHED: 10:52 16 September 2018 | UPDATED: 06:54 17 September 2018

Andy Symonds, chairman of Norfolk Police Federation. Picture Andy Symonds

Andy Symonds, chairman of Norfolk Police Federation. Picture Andy Symonds

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Six Norfolk police officers were assaulted overnight, with some spat at and headbutted, the chairman of the county’s police federation has said.

And Andy Symonds, from the federation, called for all police officers to be given Tasers to defend themselves with in the wake of an increasing number of attacks.

Posting on Twitter, he said: “Spat at, headbutted, punched, cuts and grazes. A&E for officers, luckily no broken bones. Shocking violence towards people just doing their job.”

He said some of the officers involved believed stun guns would have prevented some of the injuries.

Mr Symonds said the officers had been hurt in three separate incidents.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey at Norfolk Constabulary Headquarters, Wymondham. Photo : Steve AdamsChief Constable Simon Bailey at Norfolk Constabulary Headquarters, Wymondham. Photo : Steve Adams

Three of them were hurt while dealing with a man in Taverham at just after 8.15pm last night. Mr Symonds said the officers had been punched and headbutted.

They went to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to be checked over after they had arrested the man, who was taken into custody.

MORE: More than 500 attacks on Norfolk police officers in a year prompts tasers vow from chief constable

The chairman of Norfolk's police federation has said all officers should be equipped with Tasers for their own protection. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA WireThe chairman of Norfolk's police federation has said all officers should be equipped with Tasers for their own protection. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Mr Symonds said: “For me to be saying that officers should be armed with Tasers is a sad reflection on society. But we need to give officers equipment to protect themselves.

“I believe that if they had that in their pouch, even if they hadn’t used it, they would not have been attacked in the way they were.

“They used PAVA spray in that incident, but it didn’t have the desired effect.

“I am trying to have a sit down with the chief constable to talk about Tasers, so everyone who wants to have them will be equipped with them.

“I know it comes down to money, in terms of the equipment and the training, but we are getting 500 attacks on police officers each year now.

“When I started in the force 15 years ago, that would have been unthinkable.”

Norfolk’s chief constable Simon Bailey vowed that every officer in the county would be equipped with Tasers within the next three years.

At the time, he said it was a “real shame” that it was necessary, but that he had to ensure officer safety.

The other three attacks on officers happened in Prince of Wales Road in Norwich, in Great Yarmouth, where an officer was spat at, and in Dereham.

It comes after a new law was given the go-ahead last week to double the maximum sentence for anyone convicted of assaulting an emergency service worker to 12 months.

Mr Symonds said: “It’s very early days, but I am hoping that may have an impact as we go forward. But I really do fear there is going to be a more serious incident, I really do, with the way things are going.”

Home Office figures recently revealed a 32pc rise in assaults on police officers in Norfolk, with 515 attacks recorded between April 2017 and March 2018.

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