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Shock increase in assaults of Havering Police officers “due to better recording”

18:00 24 November 2012

Havering borough commander Mick Smith

Havering borough commander Mick Smith

Archant

“More robust” recording of assaults could be responsible for the sharp increase in the number of Havering Police being injured in assaults, the borough commander has suggested.

The Recorder revealed last week that the number of officers injured in assaults has more than doubled in the last two years on record.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that in 2010-11, there were 31 assaults resulting in injury, but in 2011-12 the number shot up to 69.

The number of assaults which did not cause an injury also increased sharply, from 32 in 2010-11 to 52 in 2011-12.

But Chf Supt Mick Smith said that “more robust” reporting of assaults might explain the increase.

He said: “I take any assault on police officers very seriously. Our recording of all assaults - including those on our own staff is more robust that it has ever been.

“Our officers also feel more confident in being supported when they now make a report of assault on police. This may go some way to explain the rise in the numbers.

“We regularly review the assaults that do take place and have a dedicated health and safety meeting for this purpose.

“Training is reviewed and briefings are provided to all officers on a regular basis. Health and Safety is an agenda item on all senior leadership meetings looking at both trends and the implications of officers receiving injuries.”

He added: “Although the statistics show an uplift in reports we have not seen this have an effect on our ability to provide operational policing locally.”

There have been 908 cases of officers being assaulted in the borough since April 2003, with more than 350 of those resulting in an injury to the man or woman on duty.

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