Kent Police assault sick leave increases by 40%

The number of days Kent Police officers have had to take sick leave because they have been assaulted has gone up by more than 40% in the past five years.

In 2007-08 the force lost officers for 431 days because they were injured in assaults. In 2011-12 the figure had risen to 609.

Kent Police Federation has called for the number of officers with Taser guns to be increased from 279 to 1,000.

Kent Police said the number of assaults against officers had "remained steady".

Self defence training

Federation chairman Ian Pointon said: "I think we do need to send a very clear message to people.

"I would certainly like to see the further roll-out of Taser because I think it's an excellent piece of equipment for officers to protect themselves and to protect the public as well."

Paul Smith, head of Kent Police's health services, said: "The number of assaults on Kent Police officers on duty has remained steady over the years but the absence due to such assaults can vary because of the nature of the injuries to individuals.

"The severity of the injury determines the length of time absent and this should not be read as an increase in assaults on officers. Our reporting mechanisms are getting better and reports have been more timely and accurate over the past few years.

"Officers and PCSO's are given yearly officer safety training in self defence and arrest procedures."

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