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  1. ITV Report

Multiple arrests after West Country emergency workers spat and coughed at

Avon and Somerset Police said a number of its officers had been spat or coughed at. Credit: ITV News West Country

Multiple arrests have been made across the West Country after emergency workers reported being spat or coughed at.

A number of incidents have been reported over the weekend, including an alleged assault of a paramedic in Stroud and an alleged spitting at a police officer in Bath.

Avon and Somerset Police said it dealt with three incidents on Saturday (March 28) night, including:

  • A 26-year-old woman who has been charged with assaulting an emergency worker in connection with an incident in which an officer was coughed and spat at. It happened after officers were called to attend reports of a house party in Bridgwater, at just after 7pm last night. The woman is due to attend Taunton Magistrates’ Court next month.
  • A 42-year-old woman who has been charged with two counts of assaulting an emergency worker following an incident in Peasedown St John, Bath, at just after 7.30pm last night. One of the charges relates to an officer being spat at. She’s due to appear at Bath Magistrates’ Court next month.
  • And a 36-year-old woman who has been charged with two counts of assaulting an emergency worker relating to an incident in which officers attended a domestic-related incident in Bridgwater at just before 8pm last night. The charges relate to physical assaults on two officers. The woman is due to appear at Taunton Magistrates' Court next month.

Reports of people coughing at emergency workers and members of the public have increased amid the coronavirus outbreak.

A paramedic was allegedly coughed at while attending an incident in Stroud. Credit: PA

Ch Supt Carolyn Belafonte said any assault on officers was particularly abhorrent in light of the public health crisis the country is facing.

Officers are simply trying to do their job to protect the public and keep our communities safe in these worrying times. They do not deserve to be assaulted in any way, particularly being spat on and coughed at. Anyone who does this can expect to be arrested and as we have already seen elsewhere they could face a prison sentence as a result. Whenever these incidents happen we put our Seven Point Promise into place to ensure the officers are getting all the support they need and we’re continuing to keep our officers updated on the latest advice from the Government and Public Health England.

– Ch Supt Carolyn Belafonte

Elsewhere in the region, Gloucestershire Police reported a 43-year-old man had been arrested in Stroud following an incident involving a paramedic while two people were arrested in Bridgwater on Friday (March 27) after allegedly coughing at a woman in the street.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the West Country, including case numbers, event cancellations and venue closures, click here.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know