Assaults on east London police officers on the rise, figures show

Paul Trevers

The former East Area interim commander Det Ch Supt Paul Trevers - Credit: Chantelle Billson

People are increasingly violently "turning on" police officers and more needs to be done to protect officers on the frontline. 

That is the warning from the former Det Ch Supt Paul Trevers, who until recently led the East Area BCU - the force covering Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham. 

Now Cmdr Det Ch Supt for the Met’s MO3 covert policing, Trevers has spoken out previously on what he sees as the poor public treatment of police officers, and while in another role called for tougher penalties on offenders

He told the Recorder this behaviour has continued to be an issue, with regular cases of officers “getting kicked and spat at” and an increasing number of instances of vehicles being driven at police. 

This year, a total of 27 assaults on officers were reported in February, and 21 in January. 

This included one instance in February when an officer had to take time off due to being assaulted so badly. 

The East Area BCU also provided figures to this newspaper demonstrating that, between December 1 last year and January 12 this year, there were 34 reports with 33 arrests.  

This is an increase compared to the same period 12 months prior, when 19 instances were reported and 17 people arrested. 

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In total, 333 incidents were recorded in 2021, 181 of which involved officers being injured.  

This was fewer than the 185 in 2019, but significantly below the 226 in 2020. 

Cmdr Det Ch Supt Trevers said he wants people to be “more supportive of our officers on the frontline”. 

He believes the police have not been “getting the right support from the courts”, with consequences for assaulting an officer ordinarily a fine. 

“There is not this fear of consequence if you assault an officer," he said. 

Claiming many issues arise through the night-time economy, Cmdr Det Ch Supt Trevers said he is also concerned due to the young average age of the workforce and how these instances will impact upon their lives. 

“I fear that if we do not nip it in the bud now, it’s going to get worse.”

Cmdr Det Ch Supt Trevers has been replaced in the East Area BCU by Ch Supt Stuart Bell.