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PFEW statement following release of CPS statistics

Police Federation of England and Wales

2 min read Partner content

The Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has reacted to the release of CPS statistics which show assaults on emergency workers are the most common coronavirus-related crime.

PFEW National Chair John Apter said: “Being spat and coughed at, in the middle of a pandemic which has taken so many lives, is disgusting, dangerous and inhumane. In some cases, individuals who commit these offences are even saying they have the virus and hope the officer catches it then dies.

“This stark increase in coronavirus-related crime may shock decent members of society but will not come as any real surprise to colleagues. Police officers on the frontline are increasingly facing abuse from a small minority who think nothing of deliberately weaponising the virus, and these people are the lowest of the low.

“The frustration we have in dealing with these individuals involves sentencing, as it’s inconsistent and often leaves victims feeling completely let down by the criminal justice system.

“Those who commit these attacks must spend time in prison, as without this there is no deterrent and emergency workers will continue to feel let down by the criminal justice system. 

“We have recently seen examples of COVID being transmitted to colleagues through these attacks. When someone knowingly has the virus, or believes they have it and then wilfully coughs or spits at a police officer, we need the CPS to consider a much more serious charge than the ‘Assaults on emergency workers’ category.’ Without this, these types of attacks will continue to rise.”

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