1,500 attacks on police in line of duty

Back on the beat: PC Carl Ingram was punched in the face while on duty
Back on the beat: PC Carl Ingram was punched in the face while on duty
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Hundreds of police officers in Lancashire have been assaulted in the line of duty in the past five years.

Since 2009, there have been 1,410 reports of officers being attacked. The constabulary currently has around 3,000 officers.

The figures show there has been a downward trend over the years, with fewer assaults in 2013/14 – but the force said having almost 1,500 incidents was “unacceptable”.

Rachel Baines, chairman of Lancashire Police Federation, said: “It’s pleasing to see the number of assaults falling on officers in Lancashire. However, with more than 500 fewer officers, you would expect the number to fall.

“One assault on a police officer is one too many.

“Every day officers put their life on the line to protect communities.”

Neighbourhood officer PC Carl Ingram has been a police officer fore more than 26 years.

When he was assaulted earlier this year it was the first time it had ever happened.

But officers being assaulted while on the job is no longer uncommon.

Shock figures reveal in the past five years nearly 1,500 reports of the force’s officers being assaulted in the line of duty. It is not clear if the figures, provided following a parliamentary question by an MP, include officers who have been victims more than once.

PC Ingram was assaulted when Adele Costello, 32, also known as Adele France, lunged at officers who burst into her room at the Clifton Hotel on Fishergate Hill, Preston, in a morning swoop.

She punched PC Ingram, a neighbourhood officer in Broadgate, in the mouth.

Costello, of Hendon Place, Savick, Preston, admitted assaulting a police officer.

She had five other convictions for assaulting police officers on her record of 48 offences.

She was sentenced to a three month community order and a three month curfew by Preston magistrates in July.

PC Ingram said: “I am surprised by the figures – it’s very high, around about half the force.”

But PC Ingram said once upon a time people would think somebody hitting an officer would be in a lot of trouble, but said that’s not the case anymore.

He added: “There isn’t the same reaction there used to be. Because it’s such a common thing now, nobody bats an eye.”

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “By the very nature of police work, our officers regularly risk their own safety to protect the communities they serve.

“We accept frontline policing can never be risk free and officers sometimes find themselves in dangerous and challenging situations.

“Lancashire Constabulary takes any assaults on staff extremely seriously and treats their safety as a priority.

“Officers receive comprehensive personal safety training when they join the police and regular refreshers.”

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw added: “I take assaults against Lancashire Constabulary’s officers extremely seriously.”