A police officer required hospital treatment after being assaulted, bitten and choked in Banbridge last night, Monday 10 July.
The male officer and his colleague were responding to reports of a fight involving two men in a take away on Newry Street at around 11pm. Upon arrival, as officers spoke to both men separately, one of them lashed out and attacked the officer. He was kicked in the face and bitten on the shoulder during the incident and was also choked by the suspect, leaving him unable to speak at present.
When other officers arrived to provide assistance, they too were attacked with one officer being headbutted and another bitten on the arm.
A man has been arrested on suspicion of offences including assault, assault on police, non-fatal strangulation and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place. He remains in police custody at present.
Chief Inspector Brendan Green said: “It is appalling that any police officer should be subjected to such brutality whilst simply doing their job. We are supporting them following this very difficult experience and providing the appropriate care and welfare support.
This horrible incident just shows the often grim reality of what our officers on the ground are facing each and every day.
While we come to work knowing we could be faced with difficult and dangerous situations, it is completely unacceptable that our officers should be physically assaulted, and such attacks will not be tolerated.”
On Monday 26th June, non-fatal strangulation or asphyxiation became a specific criminal offence in Northern Ireland under the Justice Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims Act NI 2022 and upon conviction is punishable by up to 14 years’ imprisonment. This arrest takes the total of arrests made since the new legislation went live, to 22. Ten alleged perpetrators have been charged to date.