Ken Marsh, head of the Police Federation in London, spoke out after a shocking police officer attack in east London yesterday
The head of the Police Federation in London has claimed ‘we’re seeing a breakdown in society’ after an attack on two police officers as they tried to arrest someone.
Shocking footage emerged yesterday of a ‘hostile crowd’ surrounding two police officers pinning down a suspect on the floor of a McDonald’s in Hackney, east London.
As they tried to restrain him they were attacked by two onlookers, as people shouted hysterically and filmed the incident on their mobile phones.
Ken Marsh, head of the Police Federation’s London branch has said attacks on officers are on the rise and slammed police budget cuts as ‘bonkers’.
He blamed sentences for officer attacks being too lenient and a culture of policemen and women being told to ‘expect’ hostility from the public.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5Live, he said: ‘I think there is a lack of sentencing and strength of action that’s taken against police when they are assaulted. I’ve openly heard judges say in court ‘you should expect it you’re a police officer’.
‘When you start hearing things like that then there is a complete breakdown in society.’
Mr Marsh, who represents rank and file officers from across the capital, said it appeared there had been a change among a ‘small minority’ of people in how they view the police.
Mobile phone footage shows two police officers restraining a man as they try to arrest him at a McDonald’s in Hackney, east London on Monday night. As they pin down the suspect on the floor, one raises a police radio (right)
After one officer raises the radio one person is heard saying ‘They’re going to kill him’ before another onlooker (pictured in white) launches himself at the officer, kicking him twice
‘There is an element of people out there who just have no respect whatsoever and don’t care,’ he said.
‘They don’t care about their actions, don’t care how they behave and don’t care about the consequences and we are left to face that twenty-four hours a day seven days a week.’
Budget cuts, falling police numbers and cuts to other services are contributing to the problem, Mr Marsh warned.
‘Social workers go home at five o’clock and we are left to pick up the pieces, mental health patients are all thrown out on the streets and we are left to pick up the pieces,’ he said.
‘We’ve become all singing, all dancing. At the same time our figures are dropping in terms of officers and our financial bursary towards funding has gone down and down and down.
After a man in white is pictured kicking one of the police officers, another onlooker (pictured in grey with pink balloon in his mouth) approaches the two PCs. At that point one of them shouts ‘get the f*** off me’ over and over again and points a yellow taser at him
A flash of light is seen as one of the officers is pictured pointing a taser at the man in grey with a pink balloon in his mouth. A Hackney Police spokesman told MailOnline the taser was switched on but not fired
‘The Government have taken a billion pounds out of the Metropolitan Police budget in the last four years… It’s bonkers.’
Police confirmed the man on the floor of the McDonald’s in Mare Street, Hackney, was arrested and detained.
One of the suspects seen attacking the police officer, aged 30, was arrested and taken to a north London police station. He has since been released under investigation. The other is still at large.
A Met Police spokesman said one of the officers was treated for an ankle injury and the other for cuts to his face. Neither have called in sick and are already back at work.
Dozens of users commented on the video, uploaded to Twitter yesterday, with some defending the actions of police and others questioning their use of force.
Several branded the youths’ behaviour ‘disgusting’ and said it ‘made them feel sick’.
One user posted saying: ‘Man pulls out his taser,’ with a crying face emoji.
Responding to the comment, Hackney Police defended the officers’ actions, saying: ‘Man got assaulted, not once but twice whilst trying to arrest someone. Think you miss the point here.’
Police had to wade into the debate again when another Twitter user accused them of tasering a man they already had pinned down on the floor.
They wrote: ‘I’d also love to know if @MPSHackney can explain why they appear to be tasering someone who is already lying on the floor with two officers on top of them holding them quite easily.’
But the force replied: ‘The officers aren’t. If you watch it you’ll see the officer produces his taser and directs it towards the crowd who assaulted them not once but twice, not the suspect on the floor.’
They added: ‘It’s down to each officer to justify their own use of force and reasons for it.’