By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA
Two men have been arrested after six police officers were assaulted in Strabane, Co Tyrone, on Friday.
The officers were kicked, bitten and spat on, the PSNI said.
“Officers on mobile patrol stopped with two men in the Castle Place area shortly before midnight to ascertain if they needed help or medical assistance,” Superintendent William Calderwood said.
“Both men became verbally abusive and, despite being warned about their behaviour, they began to lash out after being placed under arrest.
“One of the men assaulted six different officers. Minor injuries were sustained as a result of the incident, which saw the officers kicked, bitten and spat on.
“One of the officers was assaulted for a second time during this incident when the second man lashed out.”
The men, both in their 20s, were arrested on suspicion of a number of offences and remain in custody.
Supt Calderwood 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.
“We have robust procedures in place to ensure the welfare of our officers and will continue to provide them with any and all support that we can. Thankfully, on this occasion, their injuries were not more serious and they felt 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.”
He added: “Assaults on our officers are unacceptable, and will not be tolerated.”