One in five assaults on local police officers are linked to the coronavirus pandemic, a new report reveals.

The problem has sparked a response from police chiefs, who have pledged that tackling a “concerning trend” of attacks will be treated as a priority.

Local residents are also being asked if they are in favour of officers being provided with body-worn video cameras in a bid to prevent assaults.

Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said attacks on police “will not be tolerated.”

She added: “Officers and staff stepped forward to help combat the spread of the virus, interacting with members of the public to explain rapidly changing guidance, encourage everyone to do the right thing and enforce the law where required.

“I am grateful to the vast majority of people who responded with remarkable co-operation and support for their police service.

“Officers and staff work with dedication and a commitment to helping people and violence and abuse against them is utterly deplorable and unacceptable.

“It is not simply part of the job.”

Latest figures for K Division, which covers Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, show that, out of a total of 372 assaults on officers and police staff during 2020/21, 86 had a “coronavirus-related context.”

This amounts to 23% of all attacks.

And it was a similar picture in G Division, which covers Greater Glasgow, including East Renfrewshire, over the same period, with 336 out of 1,577 assaults (21%) linked to the virus.

These crimes were identified by searching cases for keywords such as Covid.

Armed officers are to be given body-worn cameras this year, with a public consultation on providing the equipment to more officers and staff across Scotland being staged online.

To have your say, visit the Police Scotland Engagement HUB.