Assaults on police officers (FOI)
Assaults on police officers (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 06 June 2016.
Number of assaults on police in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, a breakdown for each year.
Number of assaults on police officers while wearing body worn cameras – where evidence was used in court ¬¬¬– in 2014 and 2015, a breakdown for each year.
Number of police officers in the force in 2014 and in 2015.
The nature of any assaults on police in the last five years.
Number of prosecutions in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 for assaults on police and prison officers.
Since the start of 2014 all patrol officers have routinely carried body worn cameras. The camera does not run continuously but is switched on when an officer deals with an incident. For cases of assault on police, the number of times this evidence has been disclosed to the defence lawyer and made available for use in court is as follows:
Figures indicating the number of times body worn video has been played in court are not held by the police although research of each case in 2015 shows that the 15 assaults (where BWV was made available to the defence lawyer), resulted in ten court cases. More than one officer was assaulted in some cases. In eight of those ten cases the defendant pleaded guilty, saving a considerable amount of taxpayers' money on the cost of a 'not guilty' trial. In the other two cases, the defendant was found guilty.
The number of police officers employed changes throughout any one year with resignations, retirements and recruitment. It is not possible to give an accurate figure for any individual year. Below, is an average for 2014 and 2015:
Figures include ‘part time’ officers.
Most commonly, police officers are assaulted while making an arrest for an offence or when they have to intervene in a dispute or argument. Alcohol is often a factor. In the main, these assaults consist of being spat at, pushed, punched and kicked. Officers have also had things thrown at them, including alcohol and hot water/tea/coffee. One officer had a laser pen shone in his eye which resulted in a visit to the Emergency Department; no permanent damage was caused. The offender was never identified.
While being stopped by police in a vehicle road check, the driver appeared to deliberately drive at an officer who managed to evade injury by jumping to safety. The driver was arrested but claimed the action was accidental and no prosecution followed.
In another case, police were called to a local business where a customer refused to leave and was causing a disturbance. On being requested to leave by police, the customer drove at the officer in his electric wheel chair. The officer suffered injuries to his leg. The customer received a caution at the Parish Hall. This matter was recorded on the officers body worn video.
It is the nature of policing that officers often have to face drunk, quarrelsome or even violent individuals, sometimes armed with weapons. Officers are trained to deal with these situations and have various items of Personal Protection Equipment to use as they see fit. The introduction of body worn video is a welcome addition to this equipment as it provides protection to both the officer and the public. It is not possible to state with any certainty that the introduction of Body worn video has reduced the number of assaults on police officers, it will however reduce court costs by providing additional evidence of an incident. It may also provide a deterrent to those who are sober enough to appreciate they are being filmed.
States Police compile figures for assaults on Police Officers and Prison Officers combined. The below figures include assaults on Prison Officers and Honorary Police and are therefore higher than the totals in question A.
|Assaults on police/prison staff||Detected (court or PHE)||Admin detected||Undetected||Grand total|