The Dangers Facing Australian Police in the Line of Duty: Assaults against Police Officers

Dr Kelly Hine1

1University Of The Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Australia

The dangers of policing are well reported within the occupational safety literature with policing being recorded as one of the most dangerous occupations.  Assaults against police can result in not only physical injuries, but can also have psychological, financial, and societal impacts.  Furthermore, the consequences of assaults against police can be far reaching including family and friends, fellow officers, and society.  This presentation brings together the findings of three relevant empirical studies to provide a comprehensive picture of assaults towards police officers in the Australian context. The first study examined fatal assaults towards police officers, providing insights into the most serious incidences of assaults against police.  The second study examined officers who sustained injuries during significant events to understand the situations in which officers get hurt as a result of assaults.  Finally, the third study examined suspect resistance to provide insights into the circumstances of when suspects resist and why suspects might resist arrest.  These findings are discussed in terms of opportunities for preventing and reducing assaults towards police.


Dr Kelly Hine is a policing researcher who specialises in front-line policing. Her research examines the decision-making processes and impediments involved during situations that are rapidly unfolding and typically dynamic and volatile. Dr Hine’s research includes police use of force, the dangers of policing, policing major crises, the use of technology by police, and police diversity. In addition to her research interest in frontline policing, other areas of expertise include police misconduct and police integrity. Her research has implications for the way researchers examine policing practices, the way officers are educated and trained, and the policies that guide officers.


Aug 26 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm