NEARLY 150 police officers were injured in assaults across the county, latest figures show.

The Home Office statistics show that there were 418 assaults on officers in total, including 274 when no injury was recorded, but union chiefs say that is not truly representative of the scale of the problem.

The Police Federation has hailed the introduction of a new law which will allow tougher sentences for offenders, saying that officers should not have to consider assault just part of the job.

Commenting on the figures, which stretch from April 2017 to March 2018, John Apter, the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “This is an issue I feel passionately about and I have long campaigned to have it addressed. Any attack on a police officer is unacceptable.

“And while I am glad that the ONS and the Home Office are improving their data collation regarding assaults on police officers I do not believe that these figures represent anywhere near the true picture of the level of violence our members face on a daily basis.

“Steps have been taken to improve the quality of the data, however there is still work to be done to ensure that all incidents are accurately recorded so a true picture can be obtained.”

Across England and Wales, 72 assaults on police officers took place every day in 2017-18.

In a bid to tackle the situation, the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill will be passed into law this autumn.

Under it, the fact that assaults are committed against emergency workers will be taken into account when sentencing offenders, potentially leading to tougher sentences.

Lancashire Police Federation chairman Rachel Hanley said: “One assault against a police officer is one too many. It is not part of the job.

"It is absolutely right that the new Bill is passed into law later this year. We need the support of the judicial system to ensure that offences against those that are entrusted with the safety of our communities, are themselves protected from violent individuals.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council lead on wellbeing, Chief Constable Andy Rhodes, said: “All too often police officers and police staff are subjected to assaults and threats. While the severity of such attacks changes, the impact upon society does not. It is never acceptable to assume that assaults upon police officers and police staff should be tolerated - they are not simply ‘part of the job’.

“Colleagues suffer not only physical injuries, but the psychological effects. Many find the return to frontline duties after being assaulted particularly challenging or traumatic. We are optimistic that the Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill, when introduced, will go some way to protecting our staff.”