#WithUsNotAgainstUs - Police officer shares her experience of being assaulted on duty.
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#WithUsNotAgainstUs – Police Officer shares her experience of being assaulted on duty in plea to public to work with emergency service workers.
Since January 2022 there have been over eight hundred reports of officers in South Wales Police being assaulted whilst on duty, 31% of which happened in the Mid Glamorgan area.
PC Cara Roberts, based in Aberdare, has been a victim of this and is sharing her story to raise awareness of the challenges that officers face.
A few months into her role as a Police Officer, PC Roberts was called to an incident that involved a female who was intoxicated and in distress. After speaking with her, PC Roberts agreed that she would go the hospital with PC Roberts and her colleague for a wellness check.
“My colleague and I were waiting at the hospital with her when she tried to grab my colleagues work phone. She became aggressive, shouting and swearing at us in the hallway before she pushed a wheelchair into my colleague.” PC Roberts recalls.
As a result, PC Roberts restrained her and escorted her back to the police van. Whilst attempting to safely put her into the van the woman has resisted, as Roberts reached to put her legs inside and close the cage door she kicked out with force and made direct contact with her nose.
“I felt immediate pain and was bleeding and swollen. The pain was so bad that I was worried that she had broken my nose or that my front teeth had been knocked out. I had to be seen by nurses and have an x-ray, thankfully it was not broken.”
When asked about how the incident affected her, PC Roberts said, “The assault did affect me, not just physically but also mentally. I cried driving home from work that morning.
“I couldn’t understand why it had happened because I was polite and caring towards the woman, only trying my best to help her in a distressing time. It left me questioning myself and if I had done anything wrong.”
She also shared how it affected her family and friends who were concerned about her safety as it was so early into her career.
“As police officers we come to work to help people, we don’t come to work expecting to be assaulted. It does have a bigger impact than I think most people would realise.
“All I would ask of people is to take a second to remember that any emergency service worker is someone’s loved one, they deserve to be treated with respect.”
The #WithUsNotAgainstUs campaign was launched in May 2021 by the Joint Emergency Services Group in Wales to try and reduce the number of assaults on emergency workers.