A woman from Scarborough has been jailed for deliberately coughing at police officers as they were working.
Lisa Dawn Fisher, 31, of Westbourne Grove, was sentenced on 17 February to 16 weeks in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of common assault against an emergency worker at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court. She was also ordered to pay £75 compensation.
It happened on 30 January when officers went to a property in Scarborough to investigate a reported breach of coronavirus regulations.
Fisher became verbally abusive and obstructive towards officers while they were in conversation with one occupant of a flat, before deliberately coughing at them.
Chief Inspector Rachel Wood of Scarborough and Ryedale Command, said:
This sentence sends a clear message of how serious the criminal justice system takes such behaviour. All too often police officers and staff are subjected to assaults and threats while carrying out their work to protect members of the public – including the very people who abuse them.
She added: "Police officers are human, they have families, they choose to do a job that puts them in harm’s way for the good of the community.
"Assaults on them will not be tolerated and anyone who deliberately tries to use coronavirus to harm them can expect a swift trip to the cells."
According to official figures, the number of arrests made following assaults against emergency workers in North Yorkshire increased by 45% in the six months leading up to January 2021, compared with the same period the previous year.
arrests in the six months leading up to the end of January 2020
arrests in the six months leading up to the end of January 2021
It reflects a wider trend with forces across the country reporting a rising number of officer assaults.