Attacks on Scottish police officers and staff are continuing to soar.

The latest figures show a rise of nearly 13% since last year.

They were revealed on Black Friday - the party night ahead of Christmas and New Year, one of the busiest policing days of the year - by Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor.

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Writing in The Herald, Ms Taylor said: “This year, it is a matter of real concern that we have again recorded an increase of reported assaults on police officers.

“Over the past five years, there has been a gradual but sustained increase in the number of assaults and in the six months to September, there were 3,482 assaults on police officers – an average of almost 20 a day.”

Senior officers have shown growing concern about the trend. Violence in Scotland is overall relatively stable after dramatic declines last decade.

However, violence against officers is on the rise.

Ms Taylor continued: “This year Police Scotland officers have, among other incidents of violence directed toward them, been stabbed by offenders and deliberately struck by vehicles as they went about their duties. “

She stressed such attacks were not just bad for officers and staff, but for policing, as people are taken off the front line to recover.

Ms Taylor said: “I am overseeing a review of all aspects of assaults and abuse on our officers and staff to better understand the extent and impact of violence on them and to ensure we give our people the training and tools they need to do their jobs safely.

“Where violence does occur, Police Scotland is committed to treating each instance just as seriously as if it had happened to any other public servant or, indeed, any other citizen.”

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This September Chief Constable Iain Livingstone in a rare email to all officers and staff said prosecutors had agreed they would not write off offences against police as part of plea bargains with perpetrators.

Ms Taylor, meanwhile, suggested her force would be lobbying government for more cash to help protect officers and staff.

She wrote: “Police Scotland has publicly raised concerns about resources and the requirement for investment in our buildings, vehicles and technology, as well as for the improvements needed to enable officers and staff to meet a wide range of challenges, from increasing demand, to emerging crime threats.”