North Wales Police Federation have said they are “absolutely livid” after a weekend of violence in the Bangor area, where police officers were kicked and spat on and two officers were injured, one requiring hospital treatment.
Trouble flared between rival football fans in upper Bangor prior to the Welsh Cup game between Bangor City and Caernarfon Town on Saturday evening.
Ten people were arrested on Saturday night, although not all the arrests were not linked to the football, the officer who needed hospital treatment suffered his injuries in the crowd trouble before the game. Another officer was hurt in an unrelated incident.
Simon Newport chair of the North Wales Police Federation Council, which represents police officers, has described the behaviour as “disgraceful” and he hopes the courts give out the right message by bringing those responsible to justice.
A new law came into force last year has doubled the maximum jail sentence to 12 months for those who assault or attack emergency workers, which includes police officers, fire service personnel and medical staff.
Mr Newport told BBC’s Good Morning Wales programme: “The only way I think we can try and nip this in the bud or make it an issue where people think twice is for the courts to really get a grip of the sentencing powers.
“Sentence those responsible for assaulting my colleagues and other colleagues in the emergency services to decent, proper sentences.
“I think we’ve got to set some sort of benchmark now. If my officers are getting injuries that are taking them off work for a considerable amount of time or breakages in bones, then custodial sentences are needed.
“If we’ve got to get the message through that way then yes to jail terms.
“My personal view is that we’ve allowed a generation or two to think it’s ok to go around doing what they want.
“There’s a saying that I use quite regularly. Everyone knows their rights, no-one knows their responsibilities.
“There’s a minority of us in our communities that has a blatant disregard for anyone who holds a position of authority to try and uphold the peace.
“If you’re going to assault a police officer or emergency worker and you think that’s correct, you should be dealt with correctly in the court system.”
North Wales Police have appealed to anyone with information about the incident to contact 101, quoting reference number X011746.