MORE must be done to prevent police officers being attacked and to support those who are assaulted, according to a union boss.

A summit was held looking into officer safety, training, equipment and operational planning by the National Police Chiefs’ Council after a nationwide surge in attacks.

Essex Police Federation chairman Steve Taylor called for more protection for his members.

In January, two special constables were brutally attacked in Colchester town centre.

Jack Hudson headbutted one of the officers - a special inspector - directly in the face.

While he was reeling, one of Hudson’s friends punched him and another tackled him to the ground.

Hudson, 20, kicked the motionless man while he was on the ground, attempted another stamp and punched the other officer.

He was jailed for six years.

Mr Taylor said: “Now they know what we know to be true - there is better equipment out there which officers could be given, there is more capacity for body-worn video, for Taser, and there is more support that we could receive from partners in the criminal justice system when officers face assault.

“It’s encouraging to know that finally they’re on a similar page to us, and maybe as a unified voice, going forward, we can start to effect some change in these areas.”

Mr Taylor said improvements in equipment had to be backed up with deterrents.

He added: “An assault on a police officer is an assault on society. It’s that simple.

“We need to do a better job protecting the protectors and we need to do a better job deterring those that think it’s acceptable to assault officers.

“We need to do a better job sending the right signal when they come before the bench, when they come into the criminal justice system

“Because it’s not just the individual officer that’s affected by that assault. It’s their colleagues, it’s their family, it’s the wider community.

“There is a lot of people in that equation and they’re all better served if we can convince our partners and ourselves to do a better job looking after officers and supporting staff who are assaulted.”