BOCSAR reveals police assaults in Parkes, Central West and Western NSW

Photo: FILE.
Photo: FILE.

While assaults against police officers appear to be on the rise in some areas in the Central West, the numbers in Parkes have dropped by half compared to the previous year.

But either way, the union has called out for communities to respect the work their law enforcement do.

New figures from the Bureau of Crime and Research Statistics reveal a number of towns in the region have seen an increase of incidents between April 2018 to March 2019.

But Parkes is not one of them.

The number of police officer assaults in Parkes reduced from 17 in the year to March 2018 to eight in the year to March 2019.

In Forbes, its figure of four incidents had not budged over the same time frame.

Dubbo Regional has the largest increase in regional NSW with numbers almost doubling to 52 police assaults in the 12 months leading up to March 2019, as opposed to 27 in the previous year. This is an upward trend of 92.6 per cent.

Orange Local Government Area (LGA) has also seen a significant increase with 33 assaults against the police registered. The NSW average has also increased to a rate of 33 per 100,000 compared to 31.3 per 100,000.

The Police Association of NSW (PANSW) said any increase in figures of assaults on police is a major concern.

"The job of tackling crime and maintaining public safety has - to a disturbing level - seen more assaults just as a consequence of the police going about the job of enforcing the law and doing their job effectively," PANSW president Tony King says.

"If more arrests are being made and communities are being more protected the last thing that should mean is for more police officers to end up being bashed, bitten, spat upon, assaulted and injured."

How the 12 months leading up to March 2019 compare to the 12 months leading up to March 2018.

Mr King has reminded communities that police officers are people too.

"Most members of the community respect that these are women and men who are working for them, not against them. They are members of the community themselves: mums and dads, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers," he said.

Dubbo and Orange are not the only areas who have seen an increase of assaults against the police. Coonamble has see a rise in assaults against police with numbers almost doubling. Cowra and Blayney have seen a slight increase as has Cabonne going from zero incidents to five.

"Any increase to the figures of assault against police - however big or small - is a major concern for the Police Association of NSW (PANSW) memberships," Mr King said.

The NSW Police said the safety of their officers is important to their operation.

"Protecting the community can be challenging work and police are often required to intervene in serious or dangerous situations. As a result its not uncommon for officers to be assaulted and/or injured during the performance of their duties," the spokesperson said.

"The safety of police is a paramount consideration and we ensure there is sufficient support available for those officers who require it."

As a result it's not uncommon for officers to be assaulted and/or injured during the performance of their duties.

Tony King, PANSW.

Other LGAs have recorded a downturn in incidents, including Bathurst and Mid-Western Council areas.

Bathurst police have recorded 18 incidents compared to 25 in the 12 months leading up to March 2018. Mid-Western have reported less than four incidents in the year before March 2019, compared to 14 incidents in the same period during 2017/2018.

Mr King is hoping community leaders will start a conversation around the violence.

"I certainly hope that local community leaders, including politicians, lead the public debate in supporting and respecting the work the local police do," he said.

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