Westminster police punched, strangled, kicked and spat on
Police officers in Westminster were punched, kicked, choked and had blood spat at them all in the line of duty over the course of this year.
Figures given to the Wood&Vale show a total of 303 police men and women were assaulted by members of the public while on the beat between January 1 and December 17.
The figure, which includes a range of attacks from spitting to throwing missiles and punching, does not take into account assaults on traffic wardens or police community support officers.
One incident in March saw a man spit blood at a number of police officers when he arrived at a police station after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly.
Another saw an officer partially strangled when two people grabbed his helmet and pulled it up until he became choked by the chinstrap.
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In May someone attempted to force open the doors of a moving bus and when the driver asked a police officer to remove him from the vehicle, the suspect repeatedly hit the officer over the head.
Just last week there were two assaults on officers, including a female PC who was threatened by a suspect and spat at in the face, and an officer who was punched in the head.
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The figures show that nowhere is safe for Westminster’s police officers, who found themselves attacked at crime scenes, during public order events, as suspects were being placed in vehicles and when they were in custody.
Other reported incidents include an officer being smashed in the face with a bicycle chain and another who was hit in the face with a placard.
Westminster Chief Inspector Mark Antill said: “On a daily basis our officers deal with difficult and challenging situations, most of which are resolved without any issues.
“However, officers do get injured whilst on duty and all too often this is caused by a suspect resisting arrest or when they are trying to prevent a crime.
“The public understands that being a police officer can be a difficult job, but they may not realise quite how violent some of these incidents are, or the effect they can have on the officers involved.”