THE PSNI say that at least one police officer was assaulted every day in the first four months of this year in the Derry and Strabane council area.
On Wednesday evening, June 7, eight police officers were assaulted in four separate incidents in Derry.
Chief Inspector Yvonne McManus said the high level of assaults in one evening was “exceptional for our district”.
But she said officers are increasingly being subjected to attacks while responding to calls.
She told BBC Radio Foyle’s The North West Today programme: “In relation to where we are as a district, and I know Derry City and Strabane is no exception, between January and April we have had 34.5 assaults per month – that is more than one officer assaulted per day.
“Increasingly our officers are subject to attacks and we are here to help deal with extremely complex issues – issues around vulnerability – and regrettably we are forced to try and resolve these and at time officers are exposed to serious risk themselves”.
The eight officers injured on Wednesday evening had all been able to remain on duty, she told the programme.
Three people have been charged to court and another reported to the Public Prosecution Service in relation to the incidents on Wednesday, she added.
Chief Inspector McManus also urged the public not to take officers for granted.
“At times they are dealing with very dangerous circumstances and they put themselves in harm’s way to protect others and keep the community safe,” she said.
The PSNI said earlier this year that assaults resulting in injuries to officers are at a five-year high.
At that time the Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file PSNI officers, said greater deterrents – including tougher sentencing by the courts and the use of Taser devicess – are needed to prevent assaults on officers.