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A rising number of assaults against emergency workers are a stark reminder of the urgent need for priority vaccinations’ says PCC Kim McGuinness

22nd January 2021

LATEST figures from Northumbria Police reveal that assaults on officers were up 38 per cent between April and December 2020 compared to the same period the previous year and assaults using spitting or relating to COVID  have accounted for 29 per cent of those recorded.

These numbers are a stark reminder of the extra risk our police and other key workers face every day, says Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness as she repeats calls to the Government to announce plans for the police’s place on the priority list.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said:

“You can’t argue with these numbers – they show exactly what our police and other emergency workers are being exposed to. I’m talking about really disgusting behaviour where they are fought with, spat at, coughed at and basically being threatened with the virus. For these workers social distancing isn’t even a choice.

“The only solution is an urgent vaccination programme and this needs to happen to keep our workforce numbers strong at what is a crucial time for everyone. This is not only about police officer safety, this is about ensuring public safety too. We don’t have an endless supply of police officers that we can roll out to deal with day to day demands and additional COVID related policing, that’s why it’s so important we do all we can to look after the ones we’ve got.”

She added: “There are, I appreciate, many people who are key workers and deserve to be high on that list too, of course, but for our police including some staff and volunteers, the risks are notably huge.

“I couldn’t agree more when Government says how brave our police are and what an incredible job they are doing but what we really want them to say is when will they get vaccinated. We need a plan and it needs to be put into action. The devil is in the detail on this and we would welcome urgency – that’s the very least our police and their families deserve.”