NSW Police Assault: Graphic reveals how many in your suburb

 

They make up the thin blue line that protects our community everyday - but a shocking number of frontline police officers have been assaulted in the past twelve months.

Newly released crime statistics revealed a whopping 2495 incidents of assaults against a police officer were recorded in the 12 months to March 2020, with the massive figures remaining constant over the past 10 years.

Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott, who called on the government to conduct an inquiry into the shock assaults, said any assault on a police officer "is an assault on the entire community".

The inquiry is currently taking submissions and will be for the next month.

"Any low-life who thinks they can get away with bashing a police officer should be reminded that assaulting a police officer can attract penalties of up to 14 years' imprisonment," he said.

"Police have gone above and beyond the call of the duty, serving on the frontline in the fight against this pandemic and have kept the community safe from criminals, natural disasters and viruses.

"The continuing attacks on our officers is both shocking and disgusting and I have asked to be provided with the details of any officer who is hospitalised in the line of duty so I can personally contact them to thank them for their service and check on their welfare."

NewsLocal has uncovered the state's leading police assault hot spots, which include Sydney Local Government Area with 337 cases in the past year, Blacktown with 142 incidents, Cental Coast reaching 105 assaults and Penrith with 103.

Campbelltown saw 96 incidents of assault against police, while Wollongong recorded 87 incidents in the same time frame.

Mr Elliott's call for the parliamentary inquiry comes following a spate of attacks reported by NewsLocal across the state including:

- A Turramurra woman's guilty plea after she assaulted police when they pulled her over in the Lane Cove Tunnel on May 5,

-Two Maitland men charged for their alleged assault of three officers on June 21 and;

- A HIV-positive Manly man who alledgely violently assaulted three officers during a "psychotic episode" where an officer was bitten on May 13.

- One June 24, NSW Police revealed shocking footage of two Newcastle police officers allegedly confronted by a man wielding a knife in June.

The Police Minister said he called on the Law and Safety Parliamentary Committee to find out the "motivations behind these attacks", with committee chair, Wendy Tuckerman confirming the inquiry would highlight programs previously used by NSW Police, focusing on school-based and youth initiatives.

"As part of this inquiry, we will be examining the current incidence of assaults on police officers, and any related trends in such assaults", Ms Tuckerman said. "We also will be looking into what strategies the NSW Police Force currently have in place to engage with the community, how effectively those programs are working and if any improvements can be made".



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