Attacks on Burnley police officers fall by a quarter

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THE number of attacks on police officers in Burnley fell by more than a quarter in 2012.

Figures for officers assaulted on the town’s streets dropped from a five-year high of 21 attacks in 2011 to just 15 incidents last year.

But the statistics show that Burnley still has more than three times as many incidents of violence against officers than any other area in the Pennine Division.

Lancashire Police Federation chiefs welcomed the figures but say the fall in attacks could be down to a reduction in the number of front line officers in the county.

The statistics, released to the Burnley Express under the Freedom of Information Act, show that attacks across Pennine Division have also dropped by 46%.

A total of 28 attacks on officers were reported in 2012 compared to 52 in 2011 across the division which includes Burnley, Padiham, Nelson, Colne, Barnoldswick, Bacup and Rawtenstall.

The three previous years have seen attacks fluctuate from 56 in 2008 down to 27 in 2009 and almost doubling again to 46 in 2010.

Attacks across Lancashire have also dropped from 352 in 2011 to 271 last year.

Official statistics show 45 police officers suffered hand injuries, 25 suffered facial injuries and a further 19 endured head injuries in attacks across Pennine Division since 2008.

Thirty six police officers suffered knee or leg injuries and a further 12 reported ear injuries over the same period. The figures also record 14 officers with multiple injuries over the past five years.

Rachel Baines, Lancashire Police Federation chairman, said: “While it is good to see a reduction this year of assaults on officers, we have to remember that there has been a county-wide reduction of more than 500 officers, so you would naturally expect that number to fall.

“Just one officer assaulted is one too many. It is a stark reminder of the dangers that officers face on a day-to-day basis.”