Assaults on police officers in West Yorkshire are on the rise amid the backdrop of the upcoming introduction of a new law allowing tougher sentences for offenders.

Figures from the Home Office show that assaults against an officer without causing injury in the region have increased by 42 per cent since 2015/16 which was the first year the data was published.

In total, police officers in West Yorkshire faced 1,366 assaults between April 2017 and March 2018.

This incorporates 413 cases where injury was caused to an officer, which is the first time that this has been recorded separately from assaults causing injury to members of the public.

One such example came during Mad Friday last year, when two officers were assaulted and injured in Bradford within two hours.

Bradford West Police Sergeant, Alex Artis, had to accompany his two officers to hospital where one ended up with a badly sprained hand, with the other suffering a serious-looking head injury.

A further Bradford officer was assaulted on the same evening but this did not result in injury.

Only two weeks ago, a police officer was assaulted on Grantham Road after to speaking to a man about a traffic matter.

A spokesperson from the police confirmed he hadn’t been seriously injured but was taken to hospital for treatment.

John Apter, the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said that the numbers are still likely to under-represent the scale of the problem and that chief constables should ensure that all officers have the confidence and support to report every incident.

West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable, Dee Collins said: “Any assault on a Police Officer is clearly unacceptable and we will continue to do all we can to support colleagues in undertaking their role.

“To emphasise the seriousness in which we view such incidents, we have developed a Chief Constable endorsed impact statement which can be shared with the Courts.

“It serves to highlight the gravity of such cases, preventing further attacks against the very people charged with protecting the public.

“A number of other Forces have already adopted West Yorkshire’s approach and we continue to seek new ways to help in reducing these types of offences.”

In an attempt to tackle this growing problem, a new law will be introduced this autumn which could see offenders hit with longer sentence if the assault is on emergency workers.