'Significant number' of police officers assaulted on Christmas Day

27 December 2020, 07:47 | Updated: 27 December 2020, 07:49

A 'significant number' of police were assaulted
A 'significant number' of police were assaulted. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

A "significant number" of police officers in Sussex were assaulted while on duty on Christmas Day, the force has said.

Some 16 officers faced attacks including spitting, kicking, punching and biting, while one officer suffered a dislocated shoulder, according to Sussex Police.

The force's Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Rayland described this as "completely unacceptable" adding that "it will not be tolerated".

He said: "Each one of these officers has sacrificed spending Christmas with their loved ones to protect the public and catch criminals, only to be on the receiving end of offences committed by a small number of individuals.

"We are fortunate to have committed police officers who signed up to protect vulnerable people and make our towns and communities a safer place, they did not sign up to be assaulted, insulted or abused.

"While the vast majority of people in Sussex are fully supportive of our officers and our force, there is a small minority who seem to think the law does not apply to them.

"We know things are tough at the moment, especially during the festive season, but we're all in this together.

"Whatever the circumstances, there is absolutely no excuse to assault a police officer, and anyone found guilty of committing such an offence will be dealt with robustly."

Of the incidents, 12 occurred in West Sussex and four occurred in Brighton and Hove.

Assaults on emergency service workers have risen by nearly a third compared with last year, according to police data.