There has been a huge leap in the number of attacks on police officers in South Yorkshire compared to this time last year.
There have been 98 attacks on police officers in the past seven weeks, compared to 71 in the same period last year (25 May 2020 – 12 July 2020).
The Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings is calling for respect for officers to be restored so officers can do their jobs without fearing for their safety.
Dr Billings said: “Every Monday I meet with the Chief Constable and Senior Command Team to review crime and other incidents across South Yorkshire.
“What has utterly shocked me in recent weeks has been the steep increase in the number of attacks on police officers.
“Verbal abuse has become commonplace and violent, physical attacks have increased by almost 40% compared to the same period last year.
“This is absolutely unacceptable and we should not tolerate it.
“I recognise that over the past few months we have all been disturbed by aspects of police conduct in the United States, but the style of policing in this country is different.
“We have neighbourhood teams who work with their communities, we have a police force that is not routinely armed, our officers police by consent and do what we ask them to do.
“Officers work to professional standards and on those rare occasions when someone falls below them, they are rightly held to account.
“There can, therefore, be no excuse for the levels of violence the police (and other emergency service workers) are currently having to face.
“They and their families should not have to have these additional anxieties at the start of every shift.
“I call on everyone in the community to give the police and the other emergency service workers their support in every way they can.
“This is a difficult time for all of us as we live through the period of the pandemic, but when police officers go to work in the morning or at night they do so to keep us safe. They should know that we appreciate that. They have my full support at this difficult time.”