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‘The depressing thing is these attacks are becoming more regular’ - Superintendent condemns ‘shocking’ assaults on police officers

PUBLISHED: 17:14 14 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:19 14 March 2019

Superintendent of Great Yarmouth Police Roger Wiltshire. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Superintendent of Great Yarmouth Police Roger Wiltshire. Picture: Nick Butcher.

Archant © 2018

A town’s top police officer has condemned the “shocking” assaults criminals are increasingly carrying out on his workforce.

Great Yarmouth Police Station.

Picture: James BassGreat Yarmouth Police Station. Picture: James Bass

In one day of court alone - at Great Yarmouth Magistrates on Thursday, March 13 - three people were convicted of attacks on police that took place in January and February.

Superintendent of Great Yarmouth Police, Roger Wiltshire, said assaults on his workforce are becoming more common and it is an issue which is definitely getting worse.

“It is shocking to know people are attacking officers who are just trying to do their job,” he said.

“The depressing thing is these attacks are becoming more regular.”

Georgia-rose June Barlow, 21, of Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth, was handed a £80 fine and ordered to pay £50 compensation for assaulting a police officer on February 10.

Connor Beaumont-Price, 21, of Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, was given a £120 fine for an attack on a police officer on February 20 while Andrew Baines was convicted for two assaults on officers.

Baines, of Mill Road, Burgh Castle, was handed a one year community order and made to pay £200 in compensation for his assaults in Great Yarmouth on January 16.

Mr Wiltshire said alcohol played a part in many of the assaults on his team.

He said: “It is difficult to get your head around it because a lot of the time people are being stopped for minor offences.

“They get themselves into much more trouble because of these attacks rather than the initial crime.

“There does seem to be a theme of intoxication which runs through a lot of these incidents though.”

The superintendent said his officers involved in the assaults heard at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on Thursday suffered minor injuries.

He was however concerned by the impact the increasing regularity of attacks could have on people joining the police force.

“We want to have the best recruits joining our team so these kind of incidents are particularly worrying,” he said.

“Unfortunately they do not really surprise me anymore.”

Mr Wiltshire reiterated keeping his workforce safe remained a top priority for him.

He said: “We are always looking at ways to keep our officers safe and this has included them wearing body cameras and carrying tasers.

“Although it is hard to measure the impact these measures have it gives them added reassurance.”

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