More than 40 PSNI officers assaulted in 30 incidents over last seven days, Chief Constable says

Simon Byrne. Presseye
PSNI chief constable Simon Byrne said injuries include broken fingers, a dislocated knee and several officers being spat on.

More than 40 police officers have been assaulted over the last week, the Chief Constable has said.

In a social media post, Simon Byrne said that 43 PSNI officers were attacked in "30 separate incidents during the course of their duties".

The chief constable said: "The injuries include broken fingers, a dislocated knee and several officers being spat on."

He said 18 people have been charged in connection with the incidents.

Over the weekend two police were injured in a car ramming incident in Strabane.

Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris described the figures as "both alarming and disappointing".

"My thoughts are with those injured and I commend all PSNI officers for the work they do on a daily basis to keep the people of Northern Ireland safe. I hope those responsible are brought to justice," he said.

A spokesperson for the Police Federation, which represents officers, described an "appalling catalogue of assaults on our men and women".

"Our officers are not some kind of punchbag for the ills of society," they said.

"They are people who work without fear or favour to safeguard people and property.

"They do not deserve to be on the receiving end of thuggish and violent behaviour.

"Officers who are injured are often unable to continue with their duties and that means officer numbers are depleted and the community suffers.

"Undeterred by thugs, officers will continue to to deliver everyday policing in the grip of an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis.

"The courts must use the full extent of powers at their disposal to send a clear message to would-be assailants that attacks will carry severe penalties and will be no longer tolerated."

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