Assault against police in Orange on the rise

by Grace Ryan

More police have been bitten, spat upon, bashed or abused while on duty inOrange over the 12 months to March than during the same period last year.

Orange has had 33 incidents of assault against police recorded in the period - the second highest increase in the western region behind Dubbo.

Those disturbing figures were among the findings of this year's Bureau of Crime and Research (BOSCAR) statistics.

The NSW Police Association said any increase in violence against its members was a major concern and called on communities to respect the work law enforcement officers do.

“They are members of the community themselves: mums and dads, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers.”Tony King, PANSW president.

A union member, who asked not to be named due to the nature of the incidents he'd been involved in, said acts of violence could have a profound effect on frontline police officers.

A veteran of 26 years, he was the subject of a vicious assault.

"My partner and I were approached by someone who we think was drug-affected and had mental health issues," the officer said. "We tried to calm him down by talking to him, but eventually he started swinging punches.

"It was pretty intense there for a minute. I lost my front tooth and my partner got two broken fingers. Eventually I got a dental implant and the whole thing [all medical bills] cost about $80,000. I still feel embarrassed about the way I look. I am fortunate I haven't had any PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder] from that incident. For many others it can be so bad they have to stop work."

To see how Orange compares to other Local Government Areas in the state, visit the Central Western Daily>>