We want harsher sentences for COVID19 offenders

30 Apr, 2020

Cheshire Police Federation wants to see harsher sentences handed down to those who spit at and cough on officers during the COVID-19 pandemic continue once it’s all over.

Federation Chairman said several members had been subjected to the ‘repulsive’ assaults and he wants jail terms handed down for the offence over the past few months to remain.

Jamie has also hit back at what he calls ‘bobby baiting’ by individual sections of the media.

“We have seen instances in Cheshire where repulsive individuals have weaponised this virus by coughing and spitting at officers who are simply doing their job,” he said.

“This cannot become something which our society comes to accept, and I am grateful that those cases in Cheshire have been met with swift and appropriate justice.

“We have seen jail sentences handed down to those who have committed this offence in Cheshire, and I hope this continues.”

“This cannot become something which our society comes to accept, and I am grateful that those cases in Cheshire have been met with swift and appropriate justice”

Jamie added: “I am also extremely disappointed in some sections of the media who have been ‘bobby baiting’ and asking the public for footage and stories and enforcement of the COVID legislation.”

That’s been particularly galling as officers have had to get to grips with the intricacies of new lockdown regulations in short time.

The Government’s ‘list of excuses’ for the public to be out hasn’t helped officers on the frontline interpret the new laws either Jamie added.

“Police had this new law thrust upon them very quickly, and we listened to the PM when he set out the rules for lockdown,” he said.

“Very quickly the criticism started to surface, with some media outlets talking about a ‘police state’. We police by consent, and the vast majority of the public are staying home to protect lives.

“However, some aren’t, and when the rules are so wide to try and pacify people, there will always be some who push that to the very limit and beyond.

“Our officers have been professional in using this legislation, but I don’t feel we have the support of the Government in enforcement.

“It just seems perverse that a list of ‘excuses’ would be publicised which from the feedback I am getting has become something of a script used by some to justify non-essential travel.”

Now more than ever, the Government and the public need to realise just what a good job officers have been doing in extremely challenging circumstances and support them. Jamie said.

“I don’t understand why policing has become such a negative topic in the press. Officers are putting themselves in harm’s way every single day to protect the public, yet we rarely see positive news stories,” he said.

“We have also seen a significant amount of police vehicles attacked, and officer assaults. I am unsure why we are the painted as the bad guys in this crisis, but policing is a vital service right now.

“Please support us, and we will continue to support you.”

Jamie Thompson