More needs to be done to deter people assaulting police officers as worrying new figures show a steep increase in national incidences, Staffordshire Police Federation has said.

The Government stats show a total of 427 police constables in the county were assaulted in 2019/20.

Of those, 150 left Staffordshire Police officers with an injury of some sort. Nationally more than 30,000 officers were attacked, an increase of 3% on 2018/19.

Staffordshire Police Federation Chair Phil Jones said any assault on an officer was unacceptable and that all officers deserve to be treated with respect.

"One assault on a police officer is one too many," he said.

"We swear an oath to protect the peace and protect the public, and it is wholly unacceptable that we get assaulted in the course of our duty. 

"It's not just the physical effects of an assault; it's the injuries you cannot see in terms of phycological impact. Police officers are human, we have families, and we deserve to be treated with respect.

"It's good news the number of assaults on officers in Staffordshire has gone down from last year [from 457 to 452], but we need to do more to discourage would-be offenders from assaulting emergency service workers."

Home Secretary Prit Patel wants to increase sentencing for assaulting emergency service workers to two years. That would build on the one year tariff currently available to the courts, in place since 2018's Protect the Protectors Bill. 

"I am encouraged by the announcement from the Home Secretary," Phil said.

"She wants to see sentences doubled to two years, and we need to do more to prevent police officers being assaulted in the first place. 

"As Chair, I will work tirelessly with the force and our partners to ensure the health and wellbeing of members is at the heart of all we do."