HUNDREDS of police workers were victim to a violent crime while on duty within just six months, latest figures have revealed.

From common assaults, to affray and malicious wounding, a total of 517 police officers and staff were victim to some form of violent crime while on duty for Hampshire Constabulary between April and September last year.

Of these 274 were reported as an assault on an officer, 113 were reported as cases of actual bodily harm and three suffered grievous bodily harm.

The figure also includes 11 cases of verbal abuse towards a member of police staff, which was either racially or religiously aggravated and 26 cases of harassment.

The majority of the 517 cases were against officers, with a small proportion relating to police staff.

It comes as all police officers and staff are being encouraged to report any incident where they have been assaulted, either physically or verbally, in a bid to get a true picture of the violence force employees face on a daily basis.

The chairman of the Hampshire Police Federation, which represents the force's rank and file, is pleased that all aspects of assault on police are now being properly recorded and added that violence of any kind should never be accepted as part of the job.

John Apter said he has being working with the Chief Constable Andy Marsh to ensure officers are getting the best type of training and have the protection they need, such as tasers, in a bid to reduce the number of officers assaulted.

He said: “It is important that assaults on our officers and staff are recorded properly.

“I have been working with the Chief Constable and others to ensure all aspects of assaults on officers and staff are examined.

“The areas being scrutinised include the recording of the assaults, the investigation of them, the training officers are given, the personal protection equipment officers carry, the welfare given to those assaulted etc.

“As a result of this work the way in which we now record assaults on our officers is more ethical and credible and reflects a true picture of the violence our officers and staff have to contend with on a daily basis.”

He added: “The Government must now play its part and ensure assault data is collated and analysed at a National level to ensure all Forces are recording these assaults in consistent way.

“Police officers accept that policing is a dangerous and unpredictable job, but assaults must never be seen as an acceptable part of the job.”