Shocking 75% rise in assaults on police officers in Fife

Attacks on Fife police officers have increased 75 per cent in just one year.

Pic: Walter Neilson

Between April and September 2018, there were  192 assaults - and nine incidents involving other emergency service workers.

For the same six-month period in 2019, the number rocketed to 336.

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At the environment and protective services committee on Thursday, Chief Superintendent Derek McEwan. told councillors that it was a “considerable rise.”

He added: “The figures are quite concerning. I think in the past, the men and women who police our street have not recorded the assaults, as they’ve felt that it comes with the job. They should never feel like that.

“We are supporting our staff as much as much as we can.

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“We’ve introduced the use of taser in to Fife, which has been effective. There are an awful lot of angry people who suddenly stop being angry when that red dot is on them. It does have a positive impact.

“Our police officers are being assaulted. I’d just be keen to emphasise they’re working hard to protect the community and ask for the support from elected members to support our staff.”

Councillor Ross Vettriano, convener of the committee, said that the figures were “absolutely unbelievable”.

Fiona Taylor, Deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland, said: “Our officers find themselves dealing with dangerous situations on a daily basis to protect the people and communities we serve and are trained to a high level to deal with violent and confrontational situations.

“Being assaulted is not simply part of the job.

“No assault on a police officer can ever be tolerated and we have a legal and moral duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our people.

“Each assault will be investigated with the same care, compassion and commitment as an assault on a member of the public and the best evidence secured to support prosecution.

“We are considering new ways, including taking learning from elsewhere in the UK, to ensure we provide the best support to our people.”