29 reports of attacks against politicians

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There were 29 reports of criminal attacks against local politicians across the North over the past four years, including threats to kill, harassment, assaults, thefts and criminal damage.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has released new details of the rate of reported attacks against Councillors, MLAs and MPs, under the Freedom of Information Act.

The most commonly reported offences were threats to kill or harassment with nine reported incidents between 2013 and 2016.

There were seven reported instances of thefts against politicians, six reported instances of criminal damage and five reported instances of assault with or without injury.

There was also one instance of a reported ‘offence against the state or public order’ involving a local politician and one instance listed as ‘other violence against the person’.

The number of reported crimes was highest in both 2013 and 2014 with 11 in each of these years.

There were also five reports in 2015 and two in 2016.

Police said that all local politicians, when victims of crime, are recorded under the occupation category, ‘Members of Parliament’, on their computer system.

This means attacks on members of local councils and the Northern Ireland Assembly were also counted.

Releasing the data the PSNI stated: “Occupation details on the PSNI system are linked to the individual person’s record and it is possible that the information may not have been updated since the record was initially created.

“Therefore the victim may not have been an MP at the time of the reported crime. The occupation type ‘Member of Parliament’ is also used for people who are MLAs or Councillors.”