Increase of offences in Havering police stations

Borough Commander Jason Gwillim say the increase in the number of offences in police stations in Hav

Borough Commander Jason Gwillim say the increase in the number of offences in police stations in Havering is "troubling" but "not a reason for wider concern" - Credit: Archant

Havering Borough Commander Jason Gwillim said some offenders will always view assaulting an officer as “a badge of honour” as figures show a rise in the number of offences inside police stations.

There were 56 offences carried out on Havering police premises last year, up from 29 in 2011. The figures were obtained by the Recorder through a Freedom of Information request.

The biggest rise recorded has been in criminal damage, which includes damage to police buildings such as graffiti or blocking toilets.

These have increased from seven in 2011 to 22 in 2015.

Last year, 12 people were charged or summoned for criminal damage inside a Havering police building.

Violence against a person, including against police staff inside a police station, also increased from eight in 2011 to 20 in 2015.

In 2014, one sexual offence was recorded inside a police building.

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Ch Supt Gwillim said although these figures looked “troubling”, but he believes there should be “no reasons for wider concerns”.

“Certain members of the public will always consider that assaulting an officer is to be seen as a badge of honour.

“This is, however, a minority, and most members of the Havering community treat my officers as I would expect,” he told the Recorder.

Mr Gwillim explained negative opinions of the police were not confined to Havering and said police must ensure assaults on officers are dealt with like any other complainant.

The number of people charged or summoned for violence against the person inside police premises went up from seven to 10 in the past four years – with 2013 seeing 11 out of the 15 offenders charged with the offence.

Mr Gwillim explained all Havering officers undergo regular personal safety training and, when offences against police staff occur, a health and safety review is put in place.

He believes changes in the way offences were reported and classified may also have played a role in influencing these figures to rise.