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Crime Commissioner calls for people to maintain social distancing and stay at home if they can

Detectives are investigating after a police officer was seriously assaulted while responding to a breach of the coronavirus regulations.

Bedfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kathryn Holloway, has used the incident as a catalyst to renew calls for people to maintain social distancing and stay at home if they can.

Around 20 people were at the party in Underwood Close, Luton on Saturday night (13 June 2020) when officers responded.

As they attempted to break the gathering up, one of the two officers had a drink thrown in his face by a man and was then hit over the head with an object.

The officer required treatment from paramedics at the scene and was taken to hospital, where he received stitches to his head wound. The other officer also suffered minor injuries. Commissioner Holloway said:

“It is outrageous that a police officer who was acting to protect the wider public with regard to the deadly risks presented by the coronavirus should have been attacked and injured in this way.

“We all need to take the greatest possible care, acting together, with police in support of this.

“A vicious assault of one of our officers is not part of the job and is wholly unacceptable in any circumstances but, especially, in those represented by the current emergency.”

While the rate of infection is low in the Eastern region, both Bedford and Luton are in the top 50 local authority areas nationally for the proportion of people infected with COVID-19.

Different agencies across Bedfordshire have noted an increase in recent weeks of groups holding larger gatherings such as barbecues and parties.

Two women in their 20s, a man in his 20s and an 18-year-old man were stopped in a car and arrested a short time after Saturday’s incident, having left the scene. They were arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, assaulting an emergency worker and affray.

All four have been released under investigation while police enquiries continue.

Detective Inspector Tom Hamm said:

“This sort of behaviour is clearly unacceptable and I am sure many of the people at this party feel exactly the same way.

“If you know who did this please get in touch with us, or speak to Crimestoppers, who will accept information about this or any other incident with complete anonymity and in full confidence.”

Anyone with any information is asked to visit Bedfordshire Police’s online reporting centre  or call 101, quoting reference 526 of 13 June.

Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit Crimestoppers-uk.org