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Over 100 coronavirus-related attacks against officers and staff

Published 10 May 2020

Police Scotland has underlined that coronavirus-related attacks and threats aimed at police officers and staff will not be tolerated, after more than 100 such incidents were recorded.

Officers and staff are visible in communities 24 hours a day as the service encourages people to stick with physical distancing requirements to protect the NHS and save lives.

They are engaging with the public, explaining the physical distancing requirements, encouraging people to comply with the law, and using enforcement only where necessary.

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has thanked Scotland's communities for the high levels of co-operation shown during this challenging period.

However, there have been occasions where frontline policing teams and personnel from the custody suites have been subjected to abusive behaviour including threats of deliberate transmission.

In some instances, officers and staff have also been spat at or coughed on.

Between 24 March, 2020 and 18 April, 2020, there have been over 100 crimes committed in Scotland, where police officers and staff are recorded as victims.

Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: "Police officers and staff are playing a vital role as we all make the changes and sacrifices needed to protect the NHS and save lives.

"I'd like to thank the vast majority of our communities for their co-operation and support as we all contribute to the national effort to curtail the spread of coronavirus.

"Those doing the right thing will agree these sorts of attacks on our officers and staff are outrageous and disgraceful.

"Abuse and assault is not simply part of the job for police officers and staff and will not be tolerated.

"The Chief Constable has made it clear that this completely unacceptable. The Lord Advocate has also confirmed that offenders will be dealt with robustly by Scotland's prosecution service.

"Threatening a member of Police Scotland personnel, or any other emergency service worker, while they are carrying out their duties to keep the public safe will result in immediate arrest.

"On the occasions where such incidents have occurred we have seen a very supportive approach from Sheriffs across the country and in some instances, offenders have been remanded in custody."



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