Shock rise in number of Havering Police officers injured during assaults

The number of police injured in assaults in Havering doubled in the last two years for which records are available.

There have been 908 cases of officers being assaulted in the borough since April 2003, the Recorder can reveal.

More than 350 of those resulted in an injury to the man or woman on duty.

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.

Retired police officer Terry Matthews, of Upminster, said: “There’s not a police officer who goes through their whole career without getting an injury. It is par for the course.”

But he added: “I really feel sorry for modern officers and I think the increase could be down to two things really – the first is a lack of respect for the police or any other authority.

“When I was working and you asked a group to move on if they were blocking the pavement, they didn’t answer back, they just did it.”

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The other reason, he believes, may be due to the way police resources are now directed.

“They’ve brought back officers going out on their own so that they can cover a bigger area, but if they come across a group of troublemakers and they call for back-up, sometimes they’ve got to come from Romford to Wennington, or Harold Hill to Rainham. It’s a great big area,” he said.

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

The figure of 69 injuries is the highest in the last nine years, although the severity of the incidents is not known.

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell said: “I’m shocked and appalled to learn this and quite surprised as, overall, we’re seeing a drop in crime.

“It shows how important it is that young people are brought up with discipline and that they learn respect at home and in school.”

The year with the highest number of overall assaults on police was 2004-5, when there were 50 injuries suffered by officers on duty due to violence and 80 incidents which caused no injury.

Havering police were unable to comment before the Recorder went to press.