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Witness appeal after police officer assaulted in West Byfleet

Date: 

Friday, 22 May, 2020

(News source: published by Surrey Police)

Surrey Police continue to appeal for witnesses after an officer was assaulted on duty yesterday evening in West Byfleet.

The officer was called to the West Byfleet Recreation Ground on Camphill Road, West Byfleet shortly before 7pm last night (Thursday, 21 May) following reports of a group of around 30 young people allegedly breaking COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. While dispersing the group, a 15 year old boy was placed under arrest for a public order offence. Members of the group then turned on the officer attacking him and causing minor injuries to his wrist and head.

Following a quick response from other officers attending the scene, three young men (an 18 year old of no fixed address, a 15 year old and a 14 year old) were located and arrested on suspicion of assault against an emergency services worker. They remain in custody and enquiries are ongoing.

There is a dispersal order in place under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, which allows police to disperse members of the public from a designated area, in force until the end of May and will be kept under review.

Temporary Inspector David Bentley, Borough Commander for Woking said “No one should have to face being assaulted as a result of simply doing their job – especially when the officer involved was trying to protect their community.

“We are aware that there were multiple witnesses to this incident, a number of whom filmed the attack, and we continue to urge anyone with any information or footage to get in touch with us. We are also aware that videos are being shared on social media and we would ask people to consider the impact of sharing these. Not only is the footage evidential in nature, but seeing it being circulated will no doubt be distressing for both our officer and his wider family.

“Officers come to work every day, fully aware of the risks that they face as frontline workers, due to potentially volatile situations as well as the current pandemic – yet it is appalling that events such as these should take place. We are pleased to confirm that the officer sustained minor injuries, but it could have been a lot worse, and assaults against any emergency services workers will not be tolerated.

“On a final note I would like to thank the members of the public who have shown an overwhelming amount of support to our exceptional officers.”

If you witnessed the attack or have any further information, please call 101, quoting reference number PR/45200052505.

You can also give information, 100% anonymously, to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111; or anonymously online.