Copat­tacks

Fig­ures re­veal an of­fi­cer is as­saulted in the com­mu­nity ev­eryT HREE days

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Murray Spooner

Shock new sta­tis­tics re­veal a police of­fi­cer is at­tacked in the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang area once ev­ery three days.

The alarm­ing fig­ures, ob­tained from a free­dom of in­for­ma­tion re­quest by the Ruther­glen Re­former, show 532 police as­saults took place be­tween 2012 and 2016.

Shock new sta­tis­tics re­veal a police of­fi­cer is at­tacked in the Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang area once ev­ery three days.

The alarm­ing fig­ures, ob­tained from a free­dom of in­for­ma­tion re­quest by the Ruther­glen Re­former, show 532 police as­saults took place be­tween 2012 and 2016.

Last year alone saw 86 of those crimes com­mit­ted among the four coun­cil wards. The Ruther­glen North and Central area recorded the high­est in 27 com­mon as­saults.

Both Cam­bus­lang wards saw 23 in­ci­dents where a cop in the line of duty was at­tacked in 2016.

David Hamil­ton, vice chair­man of the Scot­tish Police Fed­er­a­tion said:

“These fig­ures high­light the shock­ing level of vi­o­lence fac­ing police of­fi­cers on a daily ba­sis.

“The Scot­tish Police Fed­er­a­tion have called for a re­view of the pro­tec­tion af­forded to police of­fi­cers in terms of equip­ment, tac­tics and sen­tenc­ing.

“No police of­fi­cer should go to their work with a sta­tis­ti­cal ex­pec­ta­tion that they will be as­saulted whilst serv­ing our com­mu­ni­ties.

“In the mean­time, we con­tinue to work with the lo­cal di­vi­sional com­mand team to iden­tify trends and pat­terns that will help re­duce these as­saults.”

The as­saults in both towns only equate to 26 per cent of the 319 recorded in South La­nark­shire last year.

East Kil­bride and Hamil­ton had 89 in­ci­dents while Larkhall and Both­well had con­sid­er­ably less.

Over the past three years, Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang had 265 as­saults on cops- 13 more than in Hamil­ton.

And not only are police of­fi­cers sub­jected to vi­o­lence while pa­trolling our streets, they are reg­u­larly put in harm’s way by the ever-present blade cul­ture that con­tin­ues to blight our com­mu­nity.

The scale of knife cul­ture in the towns was un­cov­ered by the Re­former ear­lier this month.

Sta­tis­tics show al­most 250 crimes in­volv­ing blades were com­mit­ted in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang since 2014.

The at­tacks on of­fi­cers is on the de­cline how­ever, which is wel­comed by in­spec­tor Jim Gille­spie of Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang Com­mu­nity Polic­ing Team.

He said: “The vast ma­jor­ity of the pub­lic are en­tirely sup­port­ive of the police and the work we do to keep peo­ple safe in the com­mu­nity.

“Whilst police work is a re­ward­ing pro­fes­sion, it is also a chal­leng­ing and of­ten danger­ous role and al­though police of­fi­cers are well trained and equipped, they have the right to feel safe at work.

“Whilst the over­all de­crease in police as­saults is wel­come, it is still hap­pen­ing far too of­ten which is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able as our of­fi­cers endeavour to pro­tect the pub­lic as they go about their du­ties.”

As­saults In­spec­tor Jim Gille­spie

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