Eight attacks in too many as Police officers work to keep the public safe

Chief Constable Alan Pughesley

Eight Kent Police officers were assaulted in less than 24 hours as they worked to keep the public safe and investigate crime.

Constables were kicked, bitten and spat at as they attended calls around the county during shifts on Monday 26 October 2020.

The first incident happened in Addison Road, Tunbridge Wells, when an officer who attended a reported altercation was twice spat at by a suspect shortly after 1am.

Two hours later, another officer who attended a report of a distressed woman in Castle Street, Canterbury had a phone thrown at him, before being kicked, verbally abused and having a glass of water poured over him.

In the first two of four incidents in Thanet that day, two officers were assaulted after being called to a disturbance in Zion Place in Margate at 10.10am. One officer was spat at and another was kicked in the leg.

An officer in Medway was then pushed over by a fleeing suspect, whose car had been stopped by a patrol in Thorold Road, Chatham at around 2pm.

Another PC was kicked twice in the leg as he arrested a woman for a public order offence in a shop in Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells shortly after 2pm.

In the final incident of the day, two more Thanet officers were assaulted after being called to a report of an altercation in Margate High Street at 8.50pm.

One of the officers who attended was headbutted and then bitten on the leg. Another officer who took a teenage girl to hospital was bitten on the hand later that evening.

Statistics released earlier this year showed there was a 45% increase for assaults on all emergency workers in Kent between March and May 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, up from 245 to 368.

Last month, the Government announced people who are convicted of assaulting emergency workers will face tougher sentences of up to two years in jail.

Kent Police Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: ‘I continue to be appalled by the level of assaults that are being experienced by my officers whilst they simply try to do their jobs. All assaults, whatever the circumstances, remain completely unacceptable.

‘Policing is dangerous, it carries risk, it always has and sadly it always will, but there will never be an acceptance on my part that assaults just “go with the job”. I will fight every step of the way to see those that are intent on causing my officers harm pay for their crimes.”

Following the eight assaults on officers on Monday 26 October:

• Cosmin Ghiran, 38, of Addison Road, Tunbridge Wells, has been charged with assaulting an emergency worker and damaging a police van following the incident in Addison Road, Tunbridge Wells.

• A 20-year-old woman was arrested and bailed in connection with the incident in Castle Street, Canterbury.

• A 26-year-old man was arrested and bailed following the assaults in Zion Place, Margate.

• A 20-year-old man was arrested in connection with the assault in Thorold Road, Chatham.

• An 18-year-old woman was arrested and bailed following the incident in Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells.

• A 17-year-old girl was arrested and bailed in connection with the assaults on officers in Margate High Street and the QEQM Hospital.