Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

Criminals have been ‘weaponising the virus’, police union warns

CRIMINALS have been “weaponising the virus” to attack police officers, North Yorkshire Police Federation has claimed.

As attacks on officers reached new heights during the pandemic,one leading member of the force has told how officers are facing “a disgusting level of violence” while on duty.

Brad Jackson, general secretary of North Yorkshire Police Federation, said officers and staff have faced being spat on or coughed at by people threatening to spread coronavirus.

These threats have not only been made to emergency workers but their families too.

Mr Jackson said: “Throughout the pandemic we have witnessed police officers being subjected to a disgusting level of violence.

“We now have the figures to prove just how dire the situation has been for my colleagues on the ground.

“Society must not accept this abhorrent behaviour and level of violence aimed towards those who are sworn to serve them and keep North Yorkshire one of the safest counties to live in.

“Our members have endured a huge increase of attacks during the pandemic, by vile individuals who have spat on or coughed at police officers, weaponising the virus and threatening to spread it to them and their families.

“We can not allow this blatant lack of respect towards our officers and other emergency workers to become the norm, it will not be tolerated and those guilty of such offences will be put before the Courts.”

The condemnation comes five years after “assault with injury on a constable” was registered as a new category of crime.

The PC has urged judges and magistrates to use “these powers” to ensure offenders face adequate jail time.

He said: “The sentencing guidelines have been changed and I would urge judges and magistrates to use these powers to set an example to those who are assaulting our colleagues, those responsible must spend time in prison.

“This unjustified violence is a stain on society and needs to be dealt with robustly.”

Source: (York Press)