Police speak of disgust at spitting - as Hampshire officers are diagnosed with coronavirus

PEOPLE who spit at police officers and claim they have coronavirus must go to jail, a police representative has said as he revealed some officers have Covid-19.

Hampshire Police Federation chairman Alex Charge hit out at the increase in spitting incidents as officers patrol the lockdown.

Mr Charge said ‘quite a number’ of officers are self-isolating, following government advice to stay away from others if they have symptoms of the virus.

He added there have been cases of officers contracting the virus. These are not related to spitting incidents, he said.

Alex Charge, Hampshire Police Federation chairman

‘We have had some cases of coronavirus,’ Mr Charge said. ‘We’ve got quite a number isolating, and the force has been very good in terms of freeing up people who have got family in high-risk groups.

‘The force has some advanced plans about people’s welfare and keeping people safe the best they can.’

It comes as Hampshire police said there had been a spike in criminals spitting at them. Mr Charge had strong words for those who put police at risk.

‘It is just so disgraceful that in this climate where police officers are out trying to protect the public, people are spitting at them and threatening to spit at them and give them and potentially their families Covid-19,’ said Mr Charge who represents rank-and-file officers.

'It’s disgusting, and we are very keen that where people are convicted of those assaults that the criminal justice system works and those people go to prison.

'They need to be made an example of by the criminal justice system, it’s that simple. If they don’t go to prison, it’s not acceptable.'

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Two people in England have been jailed for such incidents. The CPS said it would prosecute offences as assaults of emergency workers.

The Coronavirus Act 2020 restricts people leaving home except under certain circumstances, including exercise and to buy essential groceries.

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