A RETIRED police chief says bad parenting and light sentences are behind the shocking rise of attacks on officers.

Retired Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Moore spoke out after new figures revealed a dramatic rise of assaults on police.

The previous head of Sussex CID said: “As a nation we need to grasp the nettle and deal with poor parenting.

“What we have seen, is a change in parenting standards whereby we now have endless excuses being made for the yobbish behaviour carried out by a proportion of youngsters today.

“I am going to argue that society has to change and that we need to wake up to what is happening rather than continuing to let things degenerate even further than they already have.”

Attacks on Sussex Police officers have risen by 16 per cent over the past four years.

There were 1,033 assaults on officers in 2018/19 – an average of three a day.

Of these, 288 resulted in injuries.

The total is 16 per cent more than the number of assaults recorded four years ago – 890.

Officers were kicked, punched and scratched, suffered bruising, dislocations, fractures and concussions.

Mr Moore said that teachers and public health workers are also facing an increase in frontline assaults.

He said: “Sentencing by the courts needs to be a lot more severe.

“Any assault on an emergency or other public sector worker should immediately result in a prison sentence and one of considerable length. I don’t hold with the argument that prison doesn’t work.

“Frankly, whilst rehabilitation is important, I believe that punishment is more so.”

Mr Moore, who served as an officer for nearly 40 years, is demanding action be taken following the death of PC Andrew Harper of Thames Valley Police.

PC Harper, 28, was killed last Thursday while responding to reports of a burglary in Sulhamstead, Berkshire.

Mr Moore said more officers are needed to protect the public.

He said: “When I joined the police in the late 1970s, of course there were assaults on officers even then.

“However, these were a lot fewer in number and the murder of a police officer in the line of his/her duty was an exceptionally rare event.

“The first step in my view is to get on with recruiting as many police officers as Boris Johnson has promised us.

“We have the third lowest number of police officers per capita in Europe and yet we are one of the biggest and densely populated countries.

“The time for talking needs to stop and the time for action needs to start.”