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Police Officer Safety

Part of Community Pharmacies – in the House of Commons at 4:36 pm on 2nd November 2016.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing and the Fire Service) 4:36 pm, 2nd November 2016

I will hold my hands up and say I have not read the Daily Mirror today. I appreciate that that might be a shock to the right hon. Gentleman, and I will make sure I read it later. That offender is in prison. I am happy to look at an individual case and talk to colleagues at the Ministry of Justice about what is happening in that prison, if he thinks that there is an issue, but it is clear that the offender went to prison and it is right that people face the full force of the law. I was slightly surprised by comments made by Ms Abbott. If the right hon. Gentleman speaks later, perhaps he could outline why the data she referred to as being haphazard were not dealt with in 13 years of Labour government. I will come on to that in more detail in a moment.

We will continue to provide the Sentencing Council with data and evidence on assaults on police officers, as the council reviews its guidelines. We need to better understand the circumstances surrounding assaults. The College of Policing has provided financial support to fund a project, as the hon. Lady rightly outlined, led by Hampshire police to gather and analyse a sample of internal records of assaults against officers. I am working with ministerial colleagues across the Government, such as the Solicitor General, on a range of these issues to ensure that individuals are appropriately prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I fully agree that we need better data to help us to understand the scale of assaults on police officers. We have been working for some time to improve the numbers available.