Geraldton Police officer in charge Chris Martin slams violence against cops

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Liam BeattyGeraldton Guardian
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Geraldton Police Station officer in charge Senior Sergeant Chris Martin.
Camera IconGeraldton Police Station officer in charge Senior Sergeant Chris Martin. Credit: Liam Beatty/Geraldton Guardian

A police officer who was allegedly punched twice in the face responding to a disturbance in Karloo this week is recovering well after a few days’ rest, according to Geraldton’s top police officer.

Geraldton officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Chris Martin said the officer was allegedly hit while struggling with an intoxicated man around 4.30am on Monday, suffering scratches and swelling to her face.

“It’s really deplorable behaviour by some members of our community,” he said. “As police officers, we’re here to help and protect the community and, unfortunately, facing violence is sometimes a reality of the job.”

He said the officer had been offered support and counselling but was in “good spirits” though sore.

“I spoke to her after the incident and she’s already said she’s ready to bounce back into action,” he said.

“It’s an experience she’ll certainly learn from. Policing is an unpredictable job and fortunately she’s young and energetic.”

Sen. Sgt Martin said police were called about 4am after receiving reports of a group of people fighting in the streets. He said they calmed the situation quickly but a physical altercation between police and the man allegedly ensued.

“Once he was restrained he continued to be verbally abusive but the threat had past,” he said.

Despite what you see on TV police officers come to work to do their job and help people, not be spat at and abused.

- Geraldton Police officer in charge Sen. Sgt. Chris Martin.

According to WA Police statistics, between five and six officers were assaulted every month in the Mid West Gascoyne district over the past two years.

WA Police Union acting president Mick Kelly labelled the incident a “cowardly act”, saying it highlighted the volatile and dangerous situations officers faced daily.

“We hope the seriousness of these offences are reflected in the court outcome,” he said.

Diquan Hommett Cedric Ryder, 24, appeared in Geraldton Magistrate’s Court on Monday charged with assaulting a police officer, criminal damage and possessing prohibited drugs.

He was not required to plead. He will return to court on July 29.

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