SHOCKING statistics show on average four police officers are assaulted each week in the NT, but the NT Police Association believe it’s only the tip of the iceberg
SHOCKING statistics show on average four police officers are assaulted each week in the NT – but the NT Police Association believes it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
The statistics, released during estimate hearings this week, show the message to not assault cops is not getting through.
In the 2018/2019 financial year, 194 cops reported an assault, while last financial year there were 189 reports.
From July 1 to December 8 there had been 88 assaults reported – and at the current rate, the NT is on track to see a similar number of assaults this financial year.
NTPA president Paul McCue believes at least a quarter of assaults on members are not reported, so the figures don’t show how bad the issue really is.
“From our own analysis, these figures don’t reflect the true number of assaults on police, with members telling us up to 25 per cent of attacks are going unreported,” Mr McCue said.
“The NTPA reflects community expectations that violent offenders who assault police and emergency service workers should be dealt with appropriately by the courts.”
Mr McCue said the laws should be tougher on those who chose to assault a police officer.
He said the association was calling for mandatory minimum sentencing for assaults on emergency workers of three months for a first offence, and six months for a second offence.
“Police are there to help. It’s that simple. To attack an officer in the execution of their duty is absolutely disgraceful,” he said. “It causes physical and psychological harm to our members, takes officers off the road for weeks, sometimes months, while they recover, and demonstrates an appalling lack of respect towards first responders.”
NT Police Commander Matt Hollamby said the force would not tolerate this kind of behaviour.
“Assaulting a police officer is a crime, and it is also a despicable act,” Commander Hollamby said.
“The job of policing is about community protection, and not being assaulted by people breaching the law.”
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