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Tuesday, 21 December 2021 

Don't assault a cop this Christmas, or like the newly imprisoned man in the Paul Kelly song that's become Australia's unofficial Yuletide anthem, you'll spend Christmas Day standing in line rather than making gravy for the roast.

It's the 21st of December, and assaults on Western Australia's police officers are at recent highs. Assault a cop this Christmas, and you'll go to jail. That's the message from the President of the WA Police Union, Mick Kelly – no relation to the musician to whom Gravy Day pays homage – ahead of the peak period for police assaults.

"In 2020-21, the rate of Assault Police Officer offences in the WA Police Force's Perth District, which includes the Northbridge entertainment precinct, was higher than any of the previous 10 reporting periods, and more offenders think they can assault our members at Christmas than at any other time on the calendar," said Mr Kelly.

"Statewide, the rate of Assault Police Officer offences is at a four-year high, with the Goldfields-Esperance (74.5%), Kimberley (38.6%), Fremantle (35.3%) and Armadale (25.6%) districts reporting even bigger year-on-year increases than Perth (19.9%).

"A Christmas bash should be a fun night, not a fight night. Our members are away from their families and friends, patrolling the streets to ensure the majority can have fun safely. They're not there to be human punching bags for the minority.

"Assault our members this Christmas, and even if you get good behaviour, you may not be out by July. So don't assault our members this Christmas. Don't screw up this time. Don't make your kids cry on Christmas Day."

Established in 1912, our membership consists of more than 7,000 police officers, police auxiliary officers and police cadets from all over the world's largest single police jurisdiction, which covers more than 2.5 million square kilometres. We act as a passionate advocate, lobbying for better conditions and protections on behalf of our members to whom we provide services. We believe there's strength in unity.

Mark Worwood on 0479 187 970 or media@wapu.org.au.