The MP for Shipley is urging Government to support his call to introduce tougher sentences for people who assault police officers after figures show more than 150 West Yorkshire bobbies are attacked each month.

Philip Davies, who described the current sentencing guidelines as "wholly inadequate", said the government must show it is committed to punishing anyone who attacks them in the line of duty by ensuring they face at least two years behind bars.

Figures from the House of Commons library show there were 1,897 assaults on West Yorkshire officers in the 12 months to April this year - 480 of which were recorded as assault with an injury.

The number of attacks on the region's officers are up from 2017/18 with 1,366 in total and 413 resulting in injury.

The politician said: “It is an utter outrage that each day five police officers across the county are being assaulted when they are trying to keep our families and communities safe. There has been an alarming rise in the number of attacks on public sector workers generally and we must ensure that those responsible feel the full force of the law.


"We need to show police officers we are on their side. They have a very hard job and at times a dangerous job. One attack on an officer in a year is one too many, to have nearly 2,000 incidents recorded is disgraceful.”

Mr Davies was told by concerned magistrates that the guidelines were not clear and has since written to the Sentencing Council asking for clearer guidance for magistrates regarding increasing the sentence they can give from six months to 12 months after.

He added: “The powers are there to sentence someone to a year in prison but magistrates need to know what they can do and need clear guidelines right now to ensure the will of Parliament is being delivered in even this small way.

"While I welcomed the doubling of the sentence available I want it doubled again and for a two year prison term to be handed down. I previously tried to change the law in Parliament but I was not successful. Not many MPs would back me. I absolutely believe it to be right and I make no apology for being on the side of what is right versus what is the consensus of the day.

“The figures I have been given are extremely disturbing and I will also be speaking with other MPs, yet again, and urging them to get behind my call to increase sentencing and show support for their police officers.”

The MP will be speaking with John Robins, West Yorkshire's Chief Constable, in the coming days to discuss the figures which show there were around 38 assaults for every 100 officers on duty in 2018/19.

Mr Davies added: “The Conservatives are committed to getting an extra 20,000 officers back on the streets but we need to protect them and send out a clear warning to those who attack them, they will face the most extreme punishment available.”

But the chairman of the sentencing council said guidelines already exist for most offences of assault and have already been amended with more clarity.

The Rt Hon Lord Justice Holroyde said: "These have already been amended to make clear that it is now a statutory aggravating feature if the assault is committed against a police officer or other emergency worker.

"The Sentencing Council is currently revising the full range of assault guidelines. As part of this process the Council is developing a guideline for the offences covered by the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018, which attract a higher maximum penalty for the offence of common assault or battery committed against a police officer or other emergency worker.

"The draft guidelines will be subject to the Council’s usual full public consultation process."

Meanwhile the Government said the Home Secretary, MP Priti Patel, has spoken out about the need for better protection and stronger sentences.

A Government spokesperson for the Home Office said: “Being attacked should never be part of the job for our courageous police officers, which is why the Home Secretary has been clear about the need for better protection and stronger sentences.

“We are committed to ensuring the police are supported and will introduce a new police covenant, as well as recruiting 20,000 more officers over the next three years.

“We have also supported the Assaults on Emergency Workers Act, which means individuals who attack police officers could face double the jail time.”