Priti Patel demands longer sentences for attacks on police 

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Priti Patel says she wants criminals who attack police officers to face longer sentences because 'the days of a slap on the wrist are over'.

A new law introduced in November doubled the maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker from six to 12 months, but recent figures show the average given to offenders has been just eight weeks.

The Home Secretary is now reviewing sentencing guidelines with Justice Secretary Robert Buckland to ensure the police feel 'supported by the criminal justice system'.

The Home Secretary is now reviewing sentencing guidelines with Justice Secretary Robert Buckland to ensure the police feel 'supported by the criminal justice system'

Pictured is PC Stuart Outten after he was attacked in Leyton, east London, in August

The Home Secretary (left, in Kent) is now reviewing sentencing guidelines with Justice Secretary Robert Buckland to ensure the police feel 'supported by the criminal justice system'. Pictured right is PC Stuart Outten after he was attacked in Leyton, east London, in August

She told The Daily Express: 'I want respect to be bought back into policing but I am absolutely clear that anyone who has the audacity or the nerve to assault a police officer should get a sentence that is appropriate.

'My message is very clear. The days of getting a slap on the wrist for assaulting a police officer have to be over and I want to see the right kind of sentencing for the thugs who do.'

There were 30,977 assaults on police officers last year, 10,399 of which caused injury, an increase of 32% from 2015/16.

PC Chris Burnham, 47, was hit by a car in Coventry last month and suffered a fractured skull and shattered knee. 

In August, PC Stuart Outten, 28, was slashed with a machete in Leyton, east London, before he was able to Taser the attacker. A few days later PC Gareth Phillip, 42, was run over by his own patrol car. 

PC Andrew Harper, 28, was killed while responding to a burglary in Berkshire on August 15, becoming the first British policeman to die on duty since Keith Palmer was stabbed outside Parliament in 2017.

PC Outten, 28, was slashed with a machete in Leyton, east London, before he was able to Taser the attacker

PC Outten, 28, was slashed with a machete in Leyton, east London, before he was able to Taser the attacker

Ms Patel, who has previously said she wants criminals to

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