PRITI PATEL has warned anyone who assaults police officers will feel the “full force of the law” following weeks of social unrest which has sparked mass gatherings across the UK.
Priti Patel hit out at violence directed at police officers as she said she is committed to double sentencing of assaults on emergency workers. The Home Secretary was questioned on what measures the Government has in place to deal with social unrest this summer. It comes as police officers had glasses and bottles thrown at them in violent confrontations with Liverpool fans celebrating the club’s Premier League win, a police chief has said.
Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sky, Ms Patel said: “The violence we have seen on our police officers is thoroughly unacceptable.
“This year we saw 30,000 assaults on police officers which why I’m committed and will be putting measures in place to double the sentencing around assaults on emergency workers.
“You asked about the protests. What we’ve seen in mass gatherings and protests is unacceptable.
“The violence we’ve seen against our officers is also unacceptable.
“Resources are in place, I speak to the police in leadership almost every single day, I speak to chief constables up and down the country.
“It is my duty and responsibility to make sure they are well-resourced and well-equipped in light of the fact we have seen more gatherings, street parties and we are seeing more protests.
“I would urge people to not participate in gatherings of that nature or protest but also I would add to that, if pelple do assault police officers they will feel the full force of the law.
“That is absolutely the right approach.”
It comes as Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Jon Roy said the two officers needed medical treatment for injuries to their backs after bottles were thrown at them as they went to help an assault victim in a crowd of supporters at the Pier Head on Friday night.
He said later a group of about 100 people threw glasses and bottles at riot police as they tried to stop them committing acts of disorder in the city centre.
In scenes which were described as “wholly unacceptable” in a joint statement by the club, police and Liverpool City Council and “heartbreaking” by the city’s mayor, thousands of Liverpool fans ignored lockdown restrictions to gather at the Pier Head on Friday night and mark their team winning the Premier League for the first time in 30 years.
During the celebrations a firework was launched at the Liver Building, causing damage to the floor of a balcony.
Police issued a Section 34 dispersal order for the city centre on Friday night, allowing them to disperse the crowds who had gathered.
A joint statement on behalf of the club, Liverpool City Council and Merseyside Police said: “Several thousand people turned up at the Pier Head on Friday June 26 and some chose to ignore the social distancing guidance and risk public safety.
“Our city is still in a public health crisis and this behaviour is wholly unacceptable.
“The potential danger of a second peak of Covid-19 still exists and we need to work together to make sure we don’t undo everything that has been achieved as a region during lockdown.
“When it is safe to do so, we will all work together to arrange a victory parade when everyone can come together to celebrate. Until that time, the safety of our city and our people continues to be our number-one priority.”