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  1. ITV Report

Police take action after "coronavirus" coughing incidents

Greater Manchester Police Headquarters Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Archive/PA Images

A teenager has been charged after a 66 year old woman was coughed on and spat at in Tameside.

The boy, who is aged 14 and cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with one count of assault and will appear at Tameside Youth Court next month.

Police made the arrest after reports of a boy coughing and shouting "coronavirus" at a woman in Ashton-under-Lyne town centre on Tuesday 17 March.

Elsewhere, a police officer has gone into self-isolation after being coughed at by a man claiming to have the virus.

The officer was responding to an incident in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester.

Mateusz Rejewski, 33, of no fixed abode, has been charged with one count of common assault on an emergency service worker and one count of breaching a dispersal notice. He will appear in court in April.

Meanwhile, police in Warrington have vowed to prosecute a group of youths - and their parents - after they were spotted coughing at NHS staff and saying they have coronavirus.

The force has taken to social media following Friday night's incident, urging parents to keep their children inside.

Anyone found in breach of making non-essential journeys can be arrested or fined.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Archive/PA Images

The Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, Ian Hopkins, is asking retired colleagues to return to work to help them cope with coronavirus.

The former officers are being offered a range of roles including working on the front line and supporting call handling.

More than 1,300 workers are currently absent from the force because of the virus.

Some investigations will not now be progressed because of the reduced police resources.

Mr Hopkins says he has not taken the decision lightly.

"We will still be attending incidents in line with our grading system and conducting primary investigations but some of those will not be progressed further. In these instances, we will still provide victims with support to help them cope and recover but unfortunately we won’t be able to conduct a secondary investigation."

– Chief Constable Ian Hopkins

Mr Hopkins says the measure is temporary and he hopes the force will return to normal as soon as possible.

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