Nine attacks on police officers each day

Published Thursday, 10 July 2014
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Almost 8,000 police officers have been attacked in Northern Ireland in the past two-and-a half years - that's more than the size of the police force and an average of nine incidents a day, UTV can reveal.

Figures obtained by UTV show that so far this year more than 1,000 officers have been attacked as they investigate every day crime and do their job in communities across the region.

Last year there were almost 3,300 officers attacked, the year before that nearly 3,600.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton said: "It's the issues behind the figures that are actually more concerning, like the police officers who never make it back to work, for example.

"Their families who are deeply affected by the psychological trauma that some officers go through and the physical trauma.

"Those effects have a long term legacy for people, it goes on for many, many years and actually those are the issues that probably concern me more than just the headline figure of the amount of attacks."

Not all the attacks are down to rioting on the streets, or the dissident threat.

A lot of the attacks are on officers responding to call-outs or part of their daily duty on the beat.

ACC Hamilton added: "If we're called to someone's home perhaps to assist them as a result of a domestic assault and we have to intervene with somebody who is violent quite often then the violence will turn towards the police officers who are there to protect the victim.

"Quite often these are maybe just drunken brawls that we all have experienced or have seen maybe sometimes in our streets in a night time economy on a Friday and Saturday night."

The Police Federation, which represents the PSNI's rank and file officers, says the courts need to get tough on those responsible for injuring officers.

Federation chairman Terry Spence said: "In many instances criminals and those who are generally thugs and being manipulated by paramilitary organisations will never have respect for the law - that adds to the problem.

"We need the full support of the public and the community and of course we need the courts to act more rigorously in the way in which the meet out sentences for assaults on police and other types of attacks."

© UTV News
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8 Comments
Bangor in Bangor wrote (134 days ago):
Absolutely disgusted to see a full size cardboard cut out of a policeman on the top of bonfie in kilcooley bangor. This just shows the mentality of people involved in this neantherthal behaviour. Shameful that some think it is OK to burn religious icons and effigies of MLA's and policemen/women!
Louie in Kent wrote (134 days ago):
How many attacks and murders when the IRA where in business???
tanya in my home wrote (134 days ago):
y show a picture of rioting when its not always that way there hurt media again trying to stare things up!!!!!!
Frank in Belfast wrote (134 days ago):
Police need a pay rise
Wills in Belfast wrote (134 days ago):
It's not surprising after forty years of violence and thuggery, criminal's and thugs know the Law is an Ass, there's no deterrence, sentencing and prison is too soft and police recruiting from working class communities has diminished, where has good sense and sound judgement (common sense) gone with the Law, Prison service and PSNI.
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