Police officers punched, kicked and bitten in assaults over last year

The number of assaults on officers remains above the five-year-average.

Police officers punched, kicked and bitten in assaults over last year iStock

Police Scotland officers have been punched, kicked and bitten in assaults within the last year, the force has said.

According to official statistics, there were 7,046 recorded incidents in 2021/2022 on officers carrying out their duties.

It is 251 fewer incidents than in the previous year, but the figure remains above the five-year-average.

In its latest performance report, Police Scotland stated that in one weekend in May last year, there were four assaults against officers working in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

They resulted in injuries including a broken finger, a lacerated knee, head and facial injuries, as well as being bitten whilst helping a man in custody.

Initiatives launched by Police Scotland are focusing on support in dealing with violence and abuse.

And new guidance for officers and staff has also been published with the aim of making it easier to report health and safety incidents and assaults.

It includes a data dashboard to enable in-depth analysis and to identify repeat offenders.

Deputy chief constable Fiona Taylor insisted that violence against officers and staff will “not be tolerated”, as she said it is not acceptable.

“Being the victim of an assault can have a long lasting impact both physically and mentally,” she said.

“Police officers and staff are no different and violence directed towards them when they’re trying to keep people safe is deplorable.

“The wider impact can also affect the communities we serve if officers need time away from police duties to recover.

“It’s not simply part of the job, it’s not acceptable and it will not be tolerated.”

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