Three police officers were assaulted in Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry this week whilst accompanying a patient who required medical attention, police have said.
A District Commander has slammed the latest in a series of “shameful attacks” on police as it was revealed that in Newry, Mourne and Down, 17 officers were injured in attacks whilst carrying out their duties in December.
Superintendent Norman Haslett described each of the attacks as “shameful and unacceptable.”
He said: “In what other job would this happen? These are men and women who are working hard to keep their communities safe and this is how they are treated.
“While we come to work knowing we could be faced with difficult and dangerous situations, it is completely unacceptable that our officers should be assaulted and verbally berated in the most shocking ways for simply doing their jobs.”
In one weekend alone in December, six constables were punched, kicked and headbutted. Some required hospital treatment and small number had to take some time off work to heal from their injuries.
In this most recent attack, a man lashed out at police within Daisy Hill Hospital on Wednesday January 4, around 4.45am.
“This was a particularly nasty assault. Two officers were bitten on the leg and one punched in the face, blood was also spat into the faces of two officers,” said Superintendent Haslett.
“Our officers were seen by medical staff and, thankfully, their injuries were not more serious and they feel well enough to remain on duty.
“But it highlights our message that all assaults on emergency service workers – be that a nurse, doctor, paramedic or police officer – are serious offences and there are serious consequences.
“Six people have been charged to court already and risk jail time for these assaults on our officers in December. And a man has been reported to the Public Prosecution Service following this hospital attack on three counts of assault on police and criminal damage.
“Assaults on our officers are unacceptable, and will not be tolerated.”