Northamptonshire police officer has to self isolate after coronavirus spitting attack

The incident happened in Northampton yesterday (April 1) and means the officer who cares for his ill mother has had to move out of his home.

Northamptonshire's chief constable Nick Adderley says there will be zero tolerance for such offences.
Northamptonshire's chief constable Nick Adderley says there will be zero tolerance for such offences.

A Northamptonshire man claiming to have coronavirus has been charged for spitting in a police officer’s face during a call-out to a domestic abuse incident.

The unnamed officer, who is the sole carer for his elderly mother who has cancer, has been taken off duty and will now have to self isolate for 14 days.

The assault happened in Northampton yesterday (April 1) and Chief Constable Nick Adderley has said the gravity of such assault has increased under the powers of the Coronavirus bill and he has been given assurances by the CPS that any such attacks on officers will be fast tracked through the courts.

The government has ordered everyone to socially distance to slow the spread of the virus.

A Nottinghamshire man was jailed for 12 months this week for spitting at two police officers.

Chief Constable Adderley said there would be zero tolerance on anyone who committed similar offences.

He said: “The officer is now having to self isolate as well as having to move out of where he lives for a period, as he is the sole carer for his mother who has cancer. This shows the impact one idiot can have.

He added: “I have been speaking regularly to the Chief Crown Prosecutor for the area and the CPS are fully on board in terms of handling these cases.

“The whole judiciary is also totally behind us on this.”

Requirements on police forces across the country have changed since the national coronavirus lockdown, with some comig under criticism for being too heavy handed in handing out fixed penalty fines to members of the public who are not obeying the lockdown.

However, the Northamptonshire force has issued any penalties so far.

The chief constable said there had been a few call outs to small house parties but people had dispersed when told to without any trouble. The force has not had any reports of pubs opening illegally.

He said he wasreceiving a daily report on crime types and the number of commercial burglaries has risen as well as speeding offences.

He said: “Because the roads have become quieter, they are in some cases being used more dangerously. Some people are using that as an opportunity to speed. I did receive some criticism initially for saying our speed cameras would still go out, but they are going out each day and we will prosecute those who speed.

“If there is an accident it obviously puts more pressure on the NHS at a time when we really need to be helping to relieve that pressure.”

The Chief Constable said he wanted to thank the public for their response to the lockdown so far. Under the rules people are only allowed to go out for essential shopping, or to work and can only exercise once a day.

So far there have been 187 recorded coronavirus cases in the county, but the actual figure is thought to be much higher. The county's two hospitals have freed up almost 400 beds in readiness for an expected influx in coronavirus patients needing care.

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