BEADLE CALLS FOR ACTION TO PROTECT POLICE OFFICERS

February 26, 2009 11:27 PM

Northumbria Police lost more than 1,000 working days in a single year because of assaults on their officers, new figures reveal.

The force had the third worst record in England and Wales during 2007-08, according to statistics released by the Home Office.

Ron Beadle, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary spokesman for Newcastle North, said: "Violence against police officers is totally unacceptable.

"Police officers are clearly not being provided with the protection that they need to do their jobs.

"Current measures are clearly not effective enough if more than 1,000 days - the equivalent of nearly three years - are lost because of attacks on Northumbria Police officers.

"There must be a zero tolerance on attacks, abuse and threats of violence and this means prosecuting the offenders and putting them through the courts.

"The Government must do more to ensure the safety of police officers in what is already a very challenging working environment."

They show that 34 forces lost a total of 15,338 officer working days due to assaults in the latest year for which figures are available.

Most badly hit was the Metropolitan Police, with 5,848 days lost, followed by West Midlands (1,166), Northumbria (1,075) and Greater Manchester (832).