POLICE campaigners have revealed 1,729 officers were attacked last year - an increase of 39 per cent compared to the previous 12 months.

West Yorkshire Police Federation said nearly 1,800 officers were assaulted between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, compared to 1,240 in 16/17, and 362 incidents involved a police officer being spat at.

The Federation believes the number of attacks in 16/17 were under-reported, but are campaigning to put changes in place and reduce the number of assaults.

The Federation is working on an Assaults on Emergency Service Workers Bill to get tougher sentences for those who attack 999 crews.

The new legislation is inspired by Holly Lynch’s Protect the Protectors campaign, which aims to give judges greater powers to impose longer custodial sentences on those who attack emergency staff.

Nick Smart, chairman of West Yorkshire Police Federation, said: "The underlying issue is officers are still being assaulted in record numbers.

"At the moment there is no deterrent.

"Our officers have better equipment and are better trained, but they are getting assaulted almost every day because there's no deterrent.

"Officers don't feel they are protected enough and have no faith in the criminal justice process.

"The feel the sanctions at court are derisory and many of them don't bother reporting assaults in the first place.

"We want to address this through tougher sentences, which will see an increase in custodial sentences from six to 12 months for people who assault emergency workers.

"Hopefully that will be a deterrent.

Three West Yorkshire Police officers were seriously injured at the end of last year in Bradford.

One suffered a head injury and another injured their hand during assaults in the city on 'Mad Friday' - the last Friday before Christmas.

Bradford West Police Sergeant Alex Artis posted a photograph of one of the injuries while the officer was sitting in A&E awaiting treatment for a head wound.

Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, has backed the Federation's calls for tougher sentences.

He said: "This is absolutely shocking and the numbers brings home what a massive problem this is.

"Police officers who go out everyday to serve the community and keep us safe should not have to put up with that.

"The fact the maximum sentence for assaulting a police officer is six months is derisory given if someone pleads guilty they get a third knocked off their sentence.

"I want to see some proper sentences handed out by the court."