A POLICE inspector has spoken out after being attacked by a homeless man when she intervened to stop him being aggressive to members of the public.
Inspector Sarah Blake was walking down Stroud High Street, coming from the police station, when she saw a man who was begging and being aggressive near Mountain Warehouse at the corner of Kendrick Street.
The inspector was on her break, on her own and not carrying any equipment such as PAVA spray or handcuffs, but she still tried to stop the man, who had been making threats to members of the public.
“It’s a difficult situation because as a police officer we need to intervene,” said Insp Blake. “We have a duty to protect the public, even if we’re not in uniform.
“Whilst trying to restrain him I ended up getting a couple of blows to the head.
“My colleague, who was having a coffee in a café nearby, came to help. Eventually we caught up with a man and made an arrest.”
“It wasn’t a very nice situation at all,” added Insp Blake. “And it does raise questions about a lack of protection when you’re off duty or going into town for a break.
“People should be able to come into town and not be abused.”
The incident was part of a recent spate of attacks on police in Gloucestershire.
Another officer was assaulted while dealing with a medical emergency in Cirencester just a day after Insp Blake was attacked.
This followed another attack in Cheltenham on the same day as the Stroud incident, which saw police called to Hine Gardens after it was reported that two women were breaking into cars.
After attempting to arrest the women, two officers were assaulted and sustained minor cuts and bruises.
Two women were arrested and charged following the incidents and are due to appear at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court.
In August, a 19-year-old man was jailed after assaulting three police officers in Cirencester.
Detective Superintendent Mark Chicken reiterated that assaults on police officers were not acceptable.
“Assaults on police officers and any emergency worker are particularly intolerable,” he said.
Callum Lean, aged 27, of no fixed abode, was charged with assault by beating of an emergency worker, common assault of an emergency worker and public order offences in connection with the attack on Insp Blake and her colleague last Tuesday, October 15.
He was released on bail but has since been recalled to prison for breach of his probation.
Lean is due to appear at Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, December 5, regarding the charges relating to the attack on Insp Blake.