Police attacks in Brent on the rise
PUBLISHED: 08:38 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:38 25 April 2019
Assaults on police officers are on the rise in Brent with more than 750 attacks over the last five years, the Kilburn Times can reveal.
Last year alone officers were attacked 228 times, up from 150 in 2017.
The figures, obtained by this newspaper through a Freedom of Information request, are higher than in neighbouring Camden, and have increased steadily over the last four years.
In 2016 there were 130 attacks and the previous year there were 106.
The Metropolitan Police Federation, the staff association representing every officer in London, blamed social media and the cash-strapped force's dwindling resources.
Chair Ken Marsh told the Times: “Social media has a big part to play. I've said people should stop filming attacks on police and putting it on social media like it's a joke.
“But I also think society as a whole is more violent these days. I'm 55, and if you hark back to the good old days the worst you would get is a bit of fisticuffs.
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“Now people will just pull a knife or a gun out.”
Ken said the lack of funding for the Met was making officers more vulnerable when patrolling or responding to an incident, and hit out at politicians who have suggested funding is not an issue.
“I find it quite absurd the comments made by politicians about our resources,” he added. “They've never done the job in their life and don't know what we do day-to-day. We need more funding.
“Officers are working 12 to 14 hours a day. They are fatigued, they are demoralised and there are mental health issues.”
In neighbouring Camden there have been 572 attacks in the last five years, with 161 in 2018.
Last year the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill was introduced, doubling the maximum sentence for common assault from six months to a year.
But Ken said it was still too weak, and wasn't always acted on anyway.
“It used to be set in stone what happened if you assaulted an officer,” he said. “If it's not going to be acted on what's the point of it?”
The Met did not return our requests for comment.