THE NUMBER of Covid assaults and spitting offences against West Mercia Police officers has now reached 52 since March.
The startling figures have prompted Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion to call for tougher sentences for those who attack emergency services workers, particularly when they claim to have Coronavirus.
He said: “It is saddening that, at a time when the country were clapping every Thursday for emergency service workers, that some made the decision to weaponise Covid-19 in order to create stress and anxiety for officers and their families.
“I have made no secret of my support for increased sentencing for those that assault emergency service workers, and I will continue to champion this cause. “It’s only then that we will send a clear message that assaults on those that serve to protect society will be met with the severest of consequences.”
The assaults involved people claiming to have the virus and coughed at officers. On 29 occasions they were also spat at.
Mr Campion added: “The lockdown period, despite having an overall positive affect on reported crime, saw an increase in officer assaults, and in particular assaults where people were claiming to have Covid-19.
“My mission has always been to highlight assaults on emergency workers and to campaign for tougher sentencing for the perpetrators of these horrible crimes.”