Police officers have missed nearly 80,000 days of work after being assaulted by members of the public in the last five years, according to research by the Liberal Democrats.
The key points are:
- 78,276 working days have been missed by police officers due to assaults between 2004/05 and 2008/09.
- 17,055 days were lost last year alone, an 11.2% increase on the previous year.
- This is the equivalent of reducing the number of police officers in England and Wales by 75.
- Police staff also lost 5,398 working days to assault in the last five years (including 1,118 days last year).
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, Chris Huhne said:
“We want more bobbies on the beat, not bobbies being beaten.
“These startling figures show just how difficult a job being a police officer can be.
“Violence is clearly all too common on our streets when thousands of police working days are being lost as officers recover from assaults.
“Every effort must be made to try to get injured officers back to work as quickly as possible, even if that means lighter duties or paperwork.
“The Liberal Democrats are the only party committed to increasing police numbers. We will put 3,000 more bobbies on the beat.”