Thames Valley officer had mask pulled off in attack


, Thames Valley officer had mask pulled off in attackImage copyright
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Figures showed there were a total of 198 assaults on officers between March and April in the Thames Valley

A police officer was subjected to a “repulsive” attack when someone spat at him and ripped his face mask off.

Craig O’Leary, chairman of the Thames Valley Police Federation, said the attack was just one of the “horrific Covid-19-related assaults” on officers.

Mr O’Leary has called for a “harsher line on sentencing” for people who assault emergency workers.

The BBC previously reported 50 assaults on police in the Thames Valley area during the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures show there were a total of 198 assaults on officers between March and April, an increase of 40 for the same period in 2019.

Chief Constable John Campbell said attacks on his staff were “despicable”.

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TVPFed

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PC Craig O’Leary is chairman of Thames Valley Police’s federation

PC O’Leary, who leads the Thames Valley branch of the body which represents rank-and-file officers, said the increase in assaults was “incredibly sad”.

“Being assaulted in this way is an absolutely despicable crime at the best of times. But, it certainly is in the current climate when everyone’s worried sick about Covid-19,” he said.

‘Applaud custodial sentences’

He said the force had been “fairly lucky” that judges and magistrates had been “handing out custodial sentences” to those charged with the “Covid-19-related assaults”.

“While the sentences may never be enough for some, the fact that they are being issued custodial sentences should be applauded,” he added.

One woman was jailed for eight weeks in April for spitting at a police officer after claiming to have Covid-19.



BBC News

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