More than 2,000 attacks on officers
THERE have been more than 2,000 assaults on police officers in South and West Wales in the past five years, according to latest figures.
Though the number of incidents per year has been falling, a senior officer has said that any assault on an officer was "one too many".
There have been 961 assaults on South Wales Police officers over that period, and though Dyfed-Powys Police collects its data differently from the other Welsh forces it recorded a police officer as an assault victim in 1,078 cases.
Chief Superintendent Sue Hayes, of South Wales Police, said while the figures had almost halved over the past five years, any assault committed against a police officer was "one too many".
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She added: "Police officers face a number of difficult tasks on a daily basis, and we are fortunate that the majority of the public treat our staff with respect."
A Dyfed Powys Police spokeswoman said the force always supports officers who have been the victims of assaults and "will ensure that offenders are prosecuted".
The assault figures were made public following Freedom of Information requests to the four Welsh forces — in total there were 3,531 incidents across the constabularies since 2007/08.
The data shows that there were 146 assaults on South Wales Police officers in the last year alone, with 133 in North Wales and 124 in Gwent — figures are not available for Dyfed-Powys Police.
The figure for South Wales is a big drop from 2007/08, when there were 262 recorded incidents.
The figures cover incidents ranging from relatively minor pushing and shoving through to serious assaults — Gwent Police reported one officer having bleach thrown into his face.
The fall in the number of assaults has been welcomed by Gower-based South Wales West Tory AM Byron Davies.
Mr Davies, who spent 32 years in the Metropolitan Police in London and national crime squad before turning to politics, said: "I am pleased to see the drop in the number of assaults — but of course one assault is still one to many.
"I am glad to see this issue being raised.
"The police do a difficult job, and nobody wants to see an officer being assaulted as they go about their duties."