A DISTRICT MP is demanding tougher court sentences for people who assault police officers.

Philip Davies, whose Shipley constituency includes Cullingworth and Denholme, said officers “put their lives on the line” for the public every day.

He is calling on the Government to show its commitment to punishing anyone who attacks them by ensuring perpetrators face at least two years behind bars.

Mr Davies says figures from the House of Commons library show there were 1,897 assaults on West Yorkshire officers in the 12 months to April this year, of which 480 were recorded as assault with an injury.

In comparison, in 2017-18 there were 1,366, of which 413 resulted in injury.

“It is an utter outrage that each day five police officers across the county are being assaulted when they are trying to keep our families and communities safe,” said Mr Davies.

“There has been an alarming rise in the number of attacks on public sector workers generally and we must ensure that those responsible feel the full force of the law.

“We need to show police officers that we are on their side. They have a very hard job and at times a dangerous job. One attack on an officer in a year is one too many, to have nearly 2,000 incidents recorded is disgraceful.”

He has written to the Sentencing Council asking for clearer guidance for magistrates regarding increasing the sentence they can give, from six months to 12 months, after he was told by some JPs that the guidelines were unclear.

Mr Davies added: “The powers are there to sentence someone to a year in prison, but magistrates need to know what they can do and have clear guidelines right now to ensure the will of Parliament is being delivered in even this small way.

“While I welcomed the doubling of the sentence available, I want it doubled again and for a two-year prison term to be handed down.

“I previously tried to change the law in Parliament but I was unsuccessful. Not many MPs would back me.

“I absolutely believe it to be right and I make no apology for being on the side of what is right versus what is the consensus of the day.

“The figures I have been given are extremely disturbing.

“I will also be speaking with other MPs, yet again, and urging them to get behind my call to increase sentencing and show support for their police officers.”

Across England and Wales there were 31,000 assaults in 2018-19, of which 10,400 resulted in injury, equating to around 26 assaults per 100 officers.