The recent spike in abuse and assaults against police in the Hunter-Central Coast region is an example of why the NSW government should scrap its plan for a 12-month public sector wage freeze in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state's police union says.
The Police Association of NSW said this week it was serving evidence to the Industrial Relations Commission with a view towards a hearing in August as part of its fight against the plan to shelve a scheduled 2.5 per cent pay rise for its members.
Union representatives met with NSW Police Minister David Elliott and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet on Tuesday.
Association president Tony King said the matter was about respect for police.
"When they turn up to work, they are being exposed to risks of serious injury every day - be that attending domestic violence incidents or conducting routine vehicle stops," he said.
"We have lots of politicians coming out now including the premier to say that police should be respected, but at the same time we have a government that is disrespecting police by refusing to directly negotiate better pay and conditions with us."
The existing award, introduced in 2017, expired on Tuesday and has rolled over.
The ongoing pay dispute comes as 12 officers were injured in seven incidents between the Central Coast and Tuncurry in a little over a week last month.
A man was charged on June 16 after he allegedly assaulted two officers who were responding to reports of a domestic incident on the Central Coast.
The man allegedly held a female senior constable in a headlock, punched her in the face and pulled out a chunk of her hair - he is also accused of elbowing a male senior constable in the face and grabbing his genitals.
Later that week, a 22-year-old woman allegedly injured the knee and elbow of an officer after returning a positive blood-alcohol reading following a car crash on the Central Coast.
Then, on June 21, a police sergeant's eye socket was broken after he was punched during a night-time traffic stop at Telarah.
The violence continued in two unrelated incidents on June 23, when a crowd hurled abuse at police at Hamilton South as they arrested a man who approached them brandishing a carving knife.
Two other men were charged for alleged aggressive behaviour towards police during the arrest.
It came a couple of hours before officers were allegedly kicked and spat on when responding to a report of an altercation at Shortland.
Meanwhile, a man kicked police in the head and spat blood at an officer during an arrest at Tuncurry, north of Newcastle, on June 25.
That same day, a man in custody at Toronto Police Station allegedly punched a male sergeant in the face before striking him three more times in the head in what court documents described as an "unprovoked and vicious" attack.
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