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Diss police officers assaulted on regular basis




Three police officers were assaulted in Diss over Christmas – and it is not an uncommon statistic.

PC Trevor McLoughlin and PC Sarah Griffiths speak of their experiences. Picture by Mecha Morton.
PC Trevor McLoughlin and PC Sarah Griffiths speak of their experiences. Picture by Mecha Morton.

A sergeant and student officer were assaulted when attending a report of a drunk man in Diss.

Inspector Jason Selvarajah, pictured, said: “They were trying to assist him when he lashed out at the student officer, smacking him in the face with the heel of his palm and causing a small cut to his nose.

“In the subsequent struggle to then arrest him, the sergeant had his fingers bent back. Both remained on duty for the remainder of their shift.”

Two more officers from Diss were assaulted on New Year’s Eve.

A sergeant was pushed when escorting a man from McDonald’s in Costessey, while a Pc was punched in the face by a woman at a party in Mulbarton, where police had been called.

Home Office figures revealed a 32 per cent rise in assaults on police officers in Norfolk, with 515 attacks recorded between April 2017 and March 2018.

Pc Trevor McLoughlin, from Diss Police Station, said: “I have been threatened with a knife a couple of times. I’ve been punched, kicked and threatened with a garden fork.

“Unfortunately, we sometimes deal with bad people and they don’t like us and what we have to do.”

A new law protecting emergency workers from assault doubled the jail time from six to 12 months, which came after the launch of a nationwide campaign, Protect the Protectors, by the Police Federation in February 2017.

Pc McLoughlin said: “Unfortunately, the courts don’t deal with it anywhere near robustly enough.

"It’s almost farcical the sentences that are handed out to assaulters.”

It is not only a physical threat that officers are faced with, but also the danger of being infected with communicable diseases through spit and blood.

Pc Sarah Griffiths, who also works in Diss, said: “I had a woman spit in my face not so long ago.

“She was under arrest for assaulting another police officer and I was dealing with her in custody. She started kicking off and spat in my face.”

Pc McLoughlin added: “What people don’t realise is that when you get bitten or spat at, there are diseases, such as hepatitis C and B, that can be spread by saliva.”



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