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18th Aug, 2019

Warwickshire Police officer attacked with burning liquid features in BBC documentary

Ian Hughes 11th Jun, 2019 Updated: 11th Jun, 2019

A WARWICKSHIRE Police officer who had burning liquid poured on her face by a violent gang stars in a new BBC documentary about assaults on emergency service workers.

The ten part series titled ‘Critical Incident’ shines a light on the recovery of emergency workers assaulted and injured in the line of duty.

Among the stories featured is that of DC Sara Skinner and her colleagues at Warwickshire Police.

Then a police constable, PC Skinner was patrolling alone in Leamington on a bicycle in April 2015 when she was attacked.

Having noticed a stolen BMW pull up outside a house which had already been burgled twice that year, PC Skinner saw three of the car’s occupants trying to break into the property.

Identifying herself as a police officer, she was attacked and pushed from her bike, kicked, and then had a burning liquid poured onto her face and into her eyes while she ‘played dead’ to avoid further injury.

PC Skinner managed to call for assistance while lying in the road but when colleagues arrived, the stolen car sped off straight over PC Skinner’s bike.

All four suspects were later arrested and were jailed for offences ranging from conspiracy to commit burglary, assault and kidnap.

A forensic scientist identified the liquid poured onto the officer’s face as ammonium hydroxide, which causes burns.

Warwickshire Police Supt Ben Smith said: “This particular incident was horrific in nature and Sara showed great courage and professionalism in attempting to tackle the offenders, whilst also having the presence of mind to call for back up.

“The level of personal violence used against her was abhorrent, and it is down to good fortune that she didn’t receive more serious injuries during the attack.

“Injuries to our officers and staff in the line of duty are unfortunately an all too often occurrence. On a daily basis our staff put their own safety and welfare on the line in order to protect the public. Each interaction comes with a level of risk and, on occasions, situations become volatile.

“Ultimately, this sometimes results in our officers and staff suffering injuries, both of a physical and mental nature. This is wholly unacceptable but represents the sacrifice we make in order to serve and protect the public, and particularly the most vulnerable in our society. Indeed, on a weekly basis I am both proud and humbled by the actions that our officers and staff take in order to protect the public.

“It is important that every officer and staff member knows that Warwickshire Police puts the safety of our staff and officers at the very top of our priority list. Should you become hurt, should you suffer with the effects of a distressing job you’ve been to, we are determined to put your health and wellbeing first, providing the support you need to get back to your fittest and best.

“I am extremely proud to wear this uniform and to be a part of the Warwickshire Police family that holds the protection of the public above that of their own.”

The programme airs at 9.15am on Thursday (June 13), or catch-up on iPlayer.

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