Council workers have been spat on and sworn at as they carry out their duties during the coronavirus crisis - while one had his leg broken after a cyclist rode into him.

The Local Government Association said there had been a number of "sickening physical and verbal assaults" on workers as it called on the public to respect the "tireless efforts" of council staff.

It acknowledged that "emotions and tensions are running high" during the coronavirus pandemic but said workers had been spat and sworn at, shoved by members of the public and racially abused.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council said police were investigating after a cyclist rode into a community safety patrol officer and broke his leg on Thursday.