The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia Police admits it is worrying to see a rise of almost 50 per cent in the number of assaults on police officers in Shropshire.

During the lockdown period, from April to June, police officers were assaulted on 16 occasions in Shropshire.

This is in comparison with 11 incidents between January and March.

PCC John Campion says the increasing number of assaults on officers is reinforcing his support for tougher sentencing for those who assault frontline workers.

He said: “These statistics, once again, make very worrying reading. At a time when overall crime has reduced, unfortunately officer assaults in Shropshire have not followed suit.

“I have been committed to raising awareness of assaults on frontline workers, and making sure that the right support is in place for officers that have been victims of crime. The statistics have reinforced my support for tougher sentencing for the minority that assault frontline workers, and to send a clear message that this behaviour won’t be tolerated.

”Assaults have far reaching effects on officers, their families, friends and colleagues which cannot be under-estimated. I will do everything I can to support action to bring the perpetrators of this type of crime to justice.”

Despite more of these incidents, there has been an overall reduction in recorded crime.

Officer assaults have been steadily increasing over the last five years and figures show that in 2018/19 there 538 frontline officers were assaulted across West Mercia, with the figure for 2019/20 rising to 659.