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7 Sep, 2020 07:13

Assault weapon: corona. Police in UK county report DOUBLING of spit and cough attacks against officers amid pandemic

Assault weapon: corona. Police in UK county report DOUBLING of spit and cough attacks against officers amid pandemic

Leicestershire Police lament a “particularly distasteful trend” of officers being assaulted with spit and cough, with the number of incidents in the county more than doubling since the Covid-19 epidemic hit the UK.

Over the first three months of national lockdown, 205 cases were reported in Leicestershire in the midlands, in which police were targeted by offenders spitting and coughing at officers, according to the PA news agency. It marked a 102 percent hike compared to the 101 such episodes in the past year.

The spitting incidents were blamed on 38 offenders, compared with 20 in 2019. Attempts to use coughing to threaten the police were unheard of in Leicestershire last year, before the Covid-19 pandemic figures show.

Also on rt.com WATCH: Mob of 300+ youths demolish Covid-19 protection at mini golf center, as angry teen SPITS in worker’s face

The record-high spike follows a countrywide pattern. Overall there were at least 7,863 instances of such assaults in the three months, jumping by one fifth from the 6,505 cases for the same period last year. The statistics were provided by 31 of Britain’s almost 50 police forces. Scotland Yard said the surge was driven by a series of mass protests and police crackdowns on lockdown-defying rave events.

“Thousands and thousands of days of policing are lost because of these assaults,” Leicestershire Police’s Chief Constable Simon Cole said, calling the rise of bodily fluids attacks a “particularly distasteful trend”.

He added that the threat of being infected takes a toll on officers and staff members “both physically and mentally, and it has a huge impact on communities.”

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) said it recommended additional safety training on how to deal with spitting offenders and seeks mandatory testing for the coronavirus for suspects involved in them.

Also on rt.com Weaponized coughing: The new way to argue when words fail in the coronavirus era (VIDEOS)

Weaponizing the fear of the coronavirus is of course not restricted to confrontations with officers of the law or to Britain. Be it teens in Sweden sneezing at elderly people to impress peers or a San Jose woman coughing at a baby to make his mother keep her distance, such incidents are being reported worldwide amid the pandemic.

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