Police officer attacks increasing

Attacks on police officers are on the rise

The number of attacks on police officers across Northern Ireland is on the rise.

In 2009/10, 3,289 officers were assaulted. In 2008/09 the figure was 2,912, rising to 2,940 in 2008/09.

The area with the most attacks was north Belfast with 373, followed by south Belfast which had 311, then the Foyle district with 283.

DUP MLA Lord Morrow, chair of the Assembly's justice committee, said he was "horrified" at the figures.

"It's not acceptable in this day and age and I think there is a responsibility on society as a whole to give their full and unqualified support to the police," he said.

Lord Morrow received the figures after submitting a question to the justice minister.

"The area of lowest assaults was Ballymoney with 27, then Moyle with 28 and Castlereagh with 30," he said.

"Moyle unfortunately is sliding up the scale. In 2007/08 it had nine assaults, this almost doubled in 2008/09 and then again for 2009/10.

"The general trend however, with a few exceptions, shows an increase of assaults.

"I am keen to learn how these matters were dealt with through the courts, and have submitted a further question to the minister of justice to this effect."