Coronavirus-related attacks and threats aimed at police officers and staff are occurring across Scotland with more than 100 such incidents recorded.
This was announced by Police Scotland today (Sunday May 10) and they add there could be far more – these figures have been obtained as a result of analysis of Police Scotland’s crime recording system using the Covid-19 search subject. However, other incidents may have occurred where police personnel have been targeted but the incident was recorded under different headings.
The attacks have come as officers and staff are visible in communities 24 hours a day as the service encourages people to stick with physical distancing requirements to protect the NHS and save lives.
In some instances, officers and staff have been spat at or coughed on as they are engaging with the public, explaining the physical distancing requirements, encouraging people to comply with the law, and using enforcement only where necessary.
And there have been occasions where frontline policing teams and personnel from the custody suites have been subjected to abusive behaviour including threats of deliberate transmission.
Between 24 March, 2020 and 18 April, 2020, there have been over 100 crimes committed in Scotland, where police officers and staff are recorded as victims.
Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Taylor said: "Police officers and staff are playing a vital role as we all make the changes and sacrifices needed to protect the NHS and save lives.
"I'd like to thank the vast majority of our communities for their co-operation and support as we all contribute to the national effort to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
"Those doing the right thing will agree these sorts of attacks on our officers and staff are outrageous and disgraceful.
"Abuse and assault is not simply part of the job for police officers and staff and will not be tolerated.
"The Chief Constable and Lord Advocate have made it clear that those engaging in this behaviour will be dealt with robustly by Scotland's police and prosecution services.
"Threatening a member of Police Scotland personnel, or any other emergency service worker, while they are carrying out their duties to keep the public safe will result in immediate arrest.
"On the occasions where such incidents have occurred we have seen a very supportive approach from Sheriffs across the country and in some instances, offenders have been remanded in custody."