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Police officer in the line of duty headbutted in Donington




POLICE ASSAULT: Chief Constable Bill Skelly with Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.
POLICE ASSAULT: Chief Constable Bill Skelly with Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones. Photo supplied by Lincolnshire Police.

A police officer’s lip was split open after he was headbutted while arresting a man on suspicion of robbery in Donington, it has been revealed.

Lincolnshire Police confirmed that the attack happened when a man was arrested in connection with the theft of two packets of cigarettes from Bargain Booze in High Street, Donington, at about 7pm on Sunday.

Police arrested a man on suspicion of robbery at 11.50pm, during which the arresting officer was headbutted and spat at.

The officer was one of nine police staff to be assaulted in Lincolnshire at the weekend, a toll which Chief Constable Bill Skelly described as “appalling and unacceptable”.

Mr Skelly said: “We have a duty to protect the public but we are all too often prevented from doing so due to violent individuals who choose to attack those who are there to help them.

“There is no other word for this type of behaviour other than appalling and this number of assaults on staff in such a short space of time really highlights how our officers and staff are placing themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis.

While it is clear that the nature of policing requires members of the organisation to handle difficult and hostile situations, assaults upon them are serious and unacceptable
Bill Skelly, Chief Constable, Lincolnshire Police

“All too often, police officers and staff are subjected to assaults and threats, doing so in order to protect the vulnerable, keep communities safe and to prevent and detect crime.

“While the severity of such attacks changes, the impact upon society does not and it is never acceptable to assume that assaults upon police officers and staff should be tolerated.

“They are not simply ‘part of the job’ and any presumption that a member of the police service should expect to be, or should accept being abused or subjected to violent behaviour, is wrong.

“While it is clear that the nature of policing requires members of the organisation to handle difficult and hostile situations, assaults upon them are serious and unacceptable.“

In response to a Freedom of Information request made in August 2017, Lincolnshire Police revealed that nearly 150 of its officers were physically attacked between 2015 and 2017.

Between April and June 2017 alone, 50 assaults on police officers were recorded, including threats made with a weapon.

Mr Skelly said: “We have taken steps to try and prevent assaults happening with the introduction of spit and bite guards and the option to use Taser guns.

“But the only thing that will really change these numbers is when people quite simply stop being violent towards police. “We will never use force unless the situation dictates and would always much prefer to deal with, and resolve, a situation in as peaceful, safe, and calm a way as possible.

“Most importantly it should be remembered that police officers and staff are people - they are fathers, mothers, sons and daughters.

“When they are attacked, they become victims just like any other person, but victims who have been attacked while trying to protect others from being victimised.”

Marc Jones, Police and Crime Commissionerfor Lincolnshire, said: “All emergency service workers do a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances and do not deserve to face the level of violence and abuse they encounter daily.

“Keeping our frontline officers safe is absolutely paramount which is why I have given my unwavering support to introducing new tasers and spit guards, along with supporting new laws to hand out harsher sentences to people who attack officers and the service animals that support them.

“I will continue to support the Chief Constable and his team in their drive to keep officers safe and on the streets protecting our communities.”

• Benjamin Lovell (27) of Market Place, Donington, appeared before Lincoln magistrates on Tuesday charged with possessing a knife in a public place, using threatening or abusive behaviour with intent to cause fear or provoke violence, robbery and assaulting a Police Constable.

Lovell has been committed to attend Lincoln Crown Court on Tuesday, May 22.

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