I beg to move,
That this House
notes with concern the estimated 23,000 assaults on police officers in England and Wales each year;
and calls on the Government to implement statutory guidance on sentencing uniformly across the country which reflects the seriousness of the issue, to accurately record the number of assaults on police officers in England and Wales and, noting the fall in numbers of police officers by 20,000 since 2010, to ensure that police officer numbers and funding are not cut further.
The Opposition have called for this debate because the question of assaults on the police is an important matter that has received too little attention, and we are happy to begin to correct that. For too long, police victims of violence have felt like second-class victims, but there is no more important duty than their duty to protect our citizens, and there is a social contract between the public and police officers, which can be summarised as follows: society as a whole confers on policemen the unique powers of detection, prevention, arrest and detention in order to uphold the rule of law and all our rights; in return, police officers are entitled to all reasonable co-operation from the public, free from violence and the threat of violence. Any assault on any police officer is a breach of that social contract and an injury to all of us.