THE level of violence towards police officers in Cumbria is a 'concern' according to Cumbria Police Federation Chairman, Paul Williams.

According to the ONS, 370 assaults on Cumbrian police officers were reported from 2019 to 2020, with 67 resulting in injury.

As they mark Stress Awareness Month, the Cumbria Police Federation also revealed that each police officer is likely to encounter between 400 and 600 traumatic events during their careers.

"We deal with a number of victims of assault and harassment, and this has a huge physical and mental impact on those victims, where sometimes they're afraid to go out of their front door," said Mr Williams.

"This is something that would happen a small number of times throughout someone's lifetime, whereas a cop goes out on a 35 year career and suffers this kind of behaviour and other traumatic events almost on a daily basis.

"That is bound to have an impact on the police officer's mental health and they're bound to be completely different people when they come out on the other side of their career."

"Any assault is utterly unacceptable.

"It's good to see that nationally, the Government is recognising this and we're seeing more and more prison sentences being dished out to people who carry out such sickening behaviour.

"It needs to be looked at more closely to find out what is happening."

The data also revealed that there were 30,000 assaults reported on police officers across England and Wales from 2019 to 2020.

Mr Williams added that there are a combination of factors that are contributing to the figures and that there is no one answer to the issue.

He added: "We've also got an increase in protests and in weaponising Covid, where cops are being spat at and bitten.

"It is very much a concern and for me, it's absolutely unacceptable that a cop should put a uniform on and expect to be attacked when they go out."

Mr Williams added that any changes to tackle the issue would have to be collaborative.

"It can't always be about the punishment, it should also be about what has caused the crime in the first place.

"There has to be a deeper look into society to find out why this sort of thing is happening, because police officers are more professional than they ever have been.

"You would then ask, why is the increase in assault happening?"