The latest statistics have revealed a sharp increase in crime over the past five years, including a record number of assaults on police officers in the Kimberley. According to the figures, there were 164 assaults on police officers in the Kimberley in 2022 — nearly double the 86 recorded in 2017. The region has also seen a sharp increase in family violence with more than 400 incidents recorded in December last year. Mining and Pastoral MLC Neil Thomson said it was “no wonder” WA Police had struggled to attract and retain officers. “The police are working extremely hard to deal with the issue, but they are also in harm’s way — no wonder police are leaving the force in record number,” he said. “People are getting tired of the relentless stress caused by crime with car theft rates over seven times higher than the Perth metropolitan area, dwelling burglary eight times higher and non-dwelling burglary nine times higher. “In some small towns in the region, the rate of family violence can be 45 times higher than in the Perth metropolitan area.” Citing his personal experience of having a relative assaulted while working as a police officer, Mr Thomson said his sympathies were with police and their families. “My heart goes out to the families of those officers assaulted,” he said. “I am the son of a police officer who was seriously assaulted in the line of duty. This led to early retirement and was never forgotten.” It comes after two police officers were injured in a car ramming in Kununurra and a series of attempted ram raids by youths in the town on January 7 and 10. Earlier in February this year the Kimberley Echo also revealed vehicle thefts in the remote town of Halls Creek had reached a nine-year high with 76 reports in 2022. Meanwhile, in Kununurra, there were 96 vehicles stolen with 19 recorded in a single month. However, things have improved since, according to Halls Creek officer in charge Senior Sergeant Simon Womersley, with only a handful of vehicles reported stolen since January 1. After a string of assaults on local officers late last year, the Advertiser also found the total number of assaults on police in the Kimberley had increased by 51 since the 2019-20 financial year and assaults on WA Police officers had reached a 10-year high. Yet another study released in March last year by the WA Police Union found a 96 per cent increase in the severity of crime in the Kimberley over the past decade. WA Police Minister Paul Papalia was contacted for comment.