EuroCOP President Calum Steele has today (8th February 2022) addressed the European Parliament on the Epidemic of violence against police officers. EuroCOP has called for the European Parliament to take action.
For the attention of all Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)
As the leading voice of police officers in Europe, The European Confederation of Police (EuroCOP) is increasingly concerned by an epidemic of violence against police officers that has continued to worsen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
EuroCOP is therefore calling for the European Parliament to take an active role in recognising the problem at an EU level. Our membership – which includes hundreds of thousands of police officers in 25 European countries – has been calling for this for a very long time.
In the early hours of the morning on Monday 31st January, two German police officers – a 29-year old male and a 24-year old female student officer – were fatally shot during a routine traffic stop in the Kusel district of Rhineland-Palatinate. This brutal, tragic, and completely senseless murder is but one of many incidences in recent months of horrifying violence against police officers carrying out their daily duty to protect the public.
Police officers are society’s front-line protectors – and have been subject to unprecedented pressures in the past two years as they enforce COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions. These restrictions – highly politicised and uniquely challenging from a societal perspective as they are – have put unimaginable strain on European police officers, both from a physical health and mental health perspective. Indeed, not only do officers have an increased risk of COVID-19 infection and reinfection compared to the general population, they have also borne the brunt of societal anger in regard to the lockdowns that have been put in place by the vast majority of European governments. That includes violence inflicted on officers when policing anti-lockdown or anti-vaccine demonstrations, which have frequently turned violent.
When politicians remain silent on the violence police officers face, this emboldens perpetrators, and disheartens our wider populations. If violence against police officers is perceived to be acceptable, violence in general increases and all workers and citizens become less safe as a consequence.
Europe’s politicians and lawmakers have been silent on this issue for far too long – and this is frankly deplorable. We are therefore calling for Members of the European Parliament sitting in the LIBE Committee to bring this deteriorating situation to light at political levels through a debate.