A recent survey illustrates the very real dangers faced by police officers in North Yorkshire, with more than 50% having suffered a personal injury as a result of an assault whilst on duty.
372 officers responded to the online officer safety survey, conducted by the North Yorkshire Police Federation.
- 52.1% of respondents have on at least one occasion in the last two years felt their life was in serious danger as a result of a threat by a member of the public
- 56.7% of respondents had suffered a personal injury at least once in the past two years as a result of an assault on duty
- 41.5% of respondents have been personally threatened with a weapon in the last two year
- 52.2% of respondents said there should be mandatory wearing of body armour for all operational duties.
The results of the survey make compelling reading as when comparing results to the same questions posed in 1995, 2003 and 2006, many demonstrate an overall increase in the risks to officer safety.
When read in conjunction with the results of a Health and Wellbeing survey undertaken by the North Yorkshire Police Federation in 2012, it demonstrates the harsh reality of the job and the apparent lack of officer support.
The Health and Wellbeing survey (www.nypolfed.org.uk/police-and-federation-news/police-news/north-yorkshire-police-federation-2012-2013-health-well-being-survey) found that 65.1% of respondents have used a rest day / time off / annual leave instead of going sick. And that 25.3% of respondents were unsure how to report an injury on duty.
The composite results have been shared with the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, and the North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner.
Mark Botham, Chairman, North Yorkshire Police Federation said:
The safety and welfare of our members is paramount. They are out there doing the job and facing very real danger every day. It is seemingly taken for granted that they will be there to protect others but what about themselves? It is only right that the utmost should be done to protect them.
The PCC, Chief Constable and government need to take notice of these results and give due recognition to the risks involved in policing the streets. Our purpose is to protect our members and we pledge our commitment to work with all parties to address the issues highlighted in the officer safety and Health and Wellbeing surveys.
Government must listen to the frontline so that we work together to ensure that the streets are a safer place for the public and for our officers.