The Justice Secretary's response to an 'easy question' from fellow SNP party member Christine Grahame MSP, reveals the numbers of attacks on Police Officers have risen sharply in recent years.
Growing public disrespect for the work & role of the Police in society was cited by Ms Grahame as some of the reasons for the rising level of attacks ....
The Scotsman reports :
ATTACKS on police officers in Scotland have risen sharply and are now 50 per cent higher than in 2000.
Provisional statistics for last year show 12,974 assaults on police officers.
Totals for the previous two years are not available as there were no figures for the Strathclyde force in those years.
But in 2002 the Scottish total was 9,343 - and in both 2000 and 2001 it was below 8,300.
The figures were given to Christine Grahame, the SNP MSP, in a Scottish Parliament written answer from Kenny MacAskill, the Justice Secretary.
The figures, however, omit statistics from some forces in some years, and also show huge and unexplained variations within the same forces.
In Grampian, for example, the total has fluctuated between zero in 2005 to 279 in 2000.
In Strathclyde the annual figure has fluctuated between a provisional 10,841 last year to just over 7,000 in 2001.
Ms Grahame said: "I think there is a growing disrespect for the work and service police officers provide to our communities and perhaps these figures reflect the wider perceptions that we are living in more violent times."
A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We are concerned by these figures.
"The police carry out a difficult job and must never be seen as punch-bags.
"This government will not allow our police officers to be routinely assaulted."