by Jacob Wilson
"THERE is no excuse to assault a police officer.”
This is what Acting Senior Sergeant Barry Haran had to say after an officer patrolling the Safe Night Precinct was headbutted on Friday night.
Proserpine magistrate Simon Young presided over the case on Monday (story, page 10) and said there was a "history” of people from interstate visiting Airlie Beach for a weekend and committing "serious acts of violence”.
"There were some 15incidents involving serious violence against police this year,” Mr Young said.
"I had a quick recollection of how many of these style of offences have occurred in these last 12 months.
"While no one (else) this year has headbutted a police officer, two attempts have been made.”
Snr Sgt Haran said there was zero tolerance for violence against police officers.
"It's not a serious problem, but it is a problem that we have to deal with and we deal with it effectively,” he said.
"There hasn't been anybody who has gotten away with it yet. Essentially, there is no excuse to assault a police officer.”
Mr Young said there was a "statement of general principle” in the law which outlined that people who assaulted an officer should expect to be imprisoned.
"Where a mature offender assaults a police officer acting reasonably in the execution of his or her duty, they can expect to serve a period of actual imprisonment in the event that the officer requires hospital or medical treatment,” the magistrate said.