Rise in Assaults on Police in Scotland

There were  6,942 recorded assaults on Police officers and staff in Scotland over this last year. That is 413 more than the year before, an increase of 6.3% year on year.

More than 1,000 assaults  were incidents related to Covid. This included people coughing and spitting on officers.

It is all part of a long term increase in assaults on Police officers and staff – up 18% on the five year average.

Figures are not available for the Highlands and Islands.

Deputy Chief Constable, People and Professionalism, Fiona Taylor said:

“Officers and staff stepped-forward to help combat the spread of the virus, conducting in excess of 120,000 interactions with members of the public to explain rapidly changing guidance, encourage everyone to do the right thing and enforce the law where required.

“I am grateful to the vast majority of people who responded with remarkable co-operation and support for their police service.

“Officers and staff work with dedication and a commitment to helping people and violence and abuse against them is utterly deplorable and unacceptable. It is not simply part of the job and will not be tolerated.

“Tackling the concerning trend of increasing assaults on officers and staff is a priority for Police Scotland.

“It causes physical and psychological harm to dedicated public servants. There is also a cost to the public purse through days lost to ill-health or personal injury claims.

“We will continue to work to better understand how we prevent violence and abuse against officers and staff, what impact it has on our colleagues, and how we can better support them to do their job.”

Armed police officers will be equipped with body worn video cameras this year following the public response to a consultation in which 9,000 responded.

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