Violent attacks on police soaring

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VIOLENT attacks on police officers in Wigan have increased dramatically in the last year.

Shocking new figures reveal that between June 2012 and May 2013, 107 assaults were recorded, double the amount the previous year.

And only a small percentage of the incidents - which include when officers are punched, kicked or spat at - were to “resist apprehension”.

The figures, obtained by the Evening Post through the Freedom Information Act, show that officers were victims of 37 incidents of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, 63 of assault on a constable and one case of wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

In the same time period in 2011/12, there were 51 assaults to Wigan division officers and 59 in 2010/11.

Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd told the Evening Post that although police officers must occasionally put themselves in dangerous situations, there is no excuse for them to be subjected to violent acts.

He said: “Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officers put their own safety on the line every day to keep our communities safe.

“But that is no excuse for them being a target of violence and these shocking figures highlight the dangers our police officers face on a day-to-day basis, while doing their job serving the public.”

While acknowledging that the statistics were a concern, GMP highlighted that the amount of violent crime has been decreasing in recent years.

Supt Mark Kenny of Wigan Division said: “Officers respond to many emergency situations, and occasionally this can result in them being assaulted.

“This is a reminder of the dangers they face on a daily basis.

“However, while there has been an increase in assaults on officers, there has been a five per cent reduction in violent crime over the last 12 months across the borough.”

In direct contrast to the amount of attacks against officers, Wigan had seen an almost 10 per cent decrease of crime in general with a fall in figures in each of the 12 categories used to record various offences in 2012.

Across Greater Manchester, recent Home Office figures show that crime has dropped 11 per cent between April 2012 and March 2013, compared with the previous 12 months.

The Christmas, new year and summer holiday periods appear to have been when the officers were under greatest threat with the number of incidents spiking during these months.

A total of 19 assaults were recorded in December and January 2012/13, which was only topped by the 24 attacks during July and August last year.