MORE than 1,000 assaults on police officers take place every year, it has been reported.

Chairman of Hampshire Police Federation John Apter said on average three attacks take place on officers every day.

Now Mr Apter is now campaigning for tougher sentencing and legislative change after he says officers “under-report” the incidents.

He said: “Those figures are from 2015 to 2016 but I think we are under-reporting the assaults. Our colleagues are attacked on average three times a day, every day, every week of the year.”

Just this weekend weekend 17 officers were bitten, kicked, spat at or head butted.

Now Mr Apter says moves to combat the attacks are working – in part, after ‘spit guards’ have been used by officers.

He said: “They are the hoods that are put over people who spit. They’re controversial, but my response to this is that they won’t be used if people don’t spit.

“I’ve been working with officers this weekend who have said they are a lifesaver.”

Although no officers were seriously injured this weekend Mr Apter added: “The officers say they feel supported by the police but they get let down by the courts, which is why we’re trying to get legilisation changed and we’re calling for tougher sentencing.”

It comes just two weeks after Mr Apter reported a weekend where 18 officers were targeted. In July he said the government had created a “perfect storm” with a pay freeze, increased workload and a rise in assaults was leading to many officers leaving the profession.

A spokesperson for Hampshire police said the number of attacks is the reason the force has implemented their ‘seven point plan’ which asks for assaults to be investigated to the same high standards as those on members of the public.

“The assaulted officer must never be responsible for investigating their own assault; victims recover better with the right welfare and support; the officer’s supervisor must ensure that their divisional commander is made aware to provide continuity of welfare support; the assaulted officer and their supervisor must complete an accident report; to achieve a successful prosecution, the best evidence must be provided.”