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Priti Patel urged to put an end to ‘terrifying rise in violent crime’


Priti Patel (Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images).
Priti Patel (Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images).

MPs on Thursday (15) called on home secretary Priti Patel to “get a grip” and put an end to the “terrifying rise in violent crime,” after it was revealed that the number of offenders avoiding prison for assaulting police officers has doubled over the past decade.

On Thursday night, PC Andrew Harper, a newlywed cop, was killed after being dragged under a getaway van for hundreds of yards.

Condemning Harper’s death, independent MP John Woodcock was quoted as saying: “The whole country will feel sorry at the terrible death of PC Harper and fury at the way sick criminals felt able to target a police officer as he tried to serve the public. The new Home Secretary must get a grip of the terrifying rise in violent crime on our streets.”

Labour MP Wes Streeting said: “This sickening murder of a police officer follows two attempted murders in as many weeks. No family should have to go through what PC Harper’s family are going through. We can’t respond as though it is business as usual.

“Single crew deployments must end immediately, sentences should be strengthened to provide a tougher deterrent and we need to provide better protective equipment to police, including tasers…”

Figures show that more than more than 20 emergency workers are assaulted every day in the line of duty. Last year only 10 per cent of offenders with more than 25 previous convictions and cautions were jailed, The Times revealed.

Last week, Patel granted cops extra stop-and-search powers in a bid to tackle knife crimes.

She said her action shows her determination to halt street violence “in its tracks”.

Patel said: “We are experiencing a knife crime epidemic. I’m determined to put a stop to it. Police chiefs are clear — stop-and-search is a vital tool in combating the scourge of serious violence.”