South Yorkshire police representative voices concern at people coughing and spitting at cops

The chairman of the Police Federation in South Yorkshire has expressed concern at the number of police officers being coughed and spat at.

By Claire Lewis
Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 7:03 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 7:04 am

Steve Kent spoke out after the National Police Chiefs Council noted a 24 per cent increase in assaults on officers during the coronavirus pandemic compared to the same period last year.

Mr Kent said: “Let’s be clear - any assault on a police officer or emergency service worker is an utter disgrace, full stop.

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South Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Steve Kent.

“However there is something particularly disgusting about spitting and coughing in someone’s face - especially in these times.

“The government’s review in doubling the sentence provision for assaults on emergency service workers can’t come soon enough. There also needs to be pressure put on the courts to actually implement them if and when they are changed otherwise there is little point.”

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The Police Federation represents rank and file police officers.

John Apter, national chairman of the organisation, said coronavirus is being used as a ‘weapon’ against emergency service workers by some people.

In an interview with LBC he said: “We noticed very early on in this crisis, in this pandemic, that there were more and more cases of these vile, disgusting individuals using this virus as a weapon and they were coughing and spitting at not only police officers but at paramedics and other people in the emergency services and saying to them ‘I have this virus and I hope you catch it as well’.