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Outgoing Norfolk commissioner renews demand for long jail terms on police attacks

Norfolk’s outgoing police and crime commissioner (PCC) has called for minimum five-year prison sentences for people who assault officers or try to infect them with Covid.

The commissioner, Lorne Green, made the statement during a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel on Tuesday.

At the meeting, Mr Green described himself as “frustrated and angry” saying the assaults and police officers being spat at needed to be addressed as a “matter of urgent necessity”.

Lorne Green.
Lorne Green.

The PCC said the most recent figures showed spitting or coughing incidents at officers had risen to 9.7 per month by November 2020, up from 5.7 in March.

“I think we need to take much more seriously the challenges to the Norfolk constabulary, and to police overall nationally, these assaults on public safety,” he said.

“If police officers are having to sit in emergency rooms of hospitals or having to be retested for Covid they are not out on public service where they belong.

“The damage is not just physical but psychological to them and their families.”

Mr Green, who is due to step down from his role later this year, said he had made calls for longer sentencing many times over the four and a half years he has been PCC.

He added: “I don’t mean 12 months – a rap on the knuckles – I don’t think two years is enough. I have always advocated for a minimum of five years.

“That won’t stop somebody from taking a swing at a police officer or spitting at a police officer but at least in my view, it would reflect the public abhorrence.”

Panel chairman William Richmond said: “I’m sure your sentiments are shared widely by members of the panel and the wider community across Norfolk.”

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