Man arrested for allegedly spitting at two paramedics

The 26-year-old man will appear in court in Inverness over the alleged assault.

A man who allegedly spat at two paramedics in Inverness has been charged with assault.

The 26-year-old was arrested by police after allegedly spitting at the ambulance staff on Thursday evening.

The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) condemned attacks on emergency service staff as “completely unacceptable” and urged people to show more respect for them during the coronavirus pandemic.

Police Scotland said the incident occurred in Telford Road at approximately 7.45pm and that the suspect is due to appear at Inverness Sheriff Court on Saturday.

An SAS spokeswoman said: “Attacks on emergency responders are completely unacceptable, along with any incidents where our crews have been targeted.

“The safety and welfare of our staff is of paramount importance and attacks against our crews will not be tolerated.

“Every year, ambulance crews report incidents of physical assault, ranging from pushing and punching to spitting and attack with a variety of weapons.

“They deserve more respect for their dedication to patient care, especially now in the most challenging of situations.”

The assault is the latest incident involving emergency service personnel, with the Scottish Police Federation (SPF) warning there has been “a disturbing trend” of officers being “deliberately coughed on or spat at in an attempt to infect” them with coronavirus.

Urging people to follow the government’s social distancing rules, Police Scotland chief constable Iain Livingstone said: “We do recognise that this is a really challenging time for everybody across the country.

“People are having to readjust their daily habits, their work habits, their personal routines and, in some ways, we have to be reasonable in that regard.

“Everything that we do, will be done in a fair, reasonable and proportionate manner.”

On Friday, Mr Livingstone revealed that 537 fixed penalty notices had been issued to people flouting the guidance, under emergence powers given to the police force.

Statistics released on Friday showed police had used the emergency powers to make 35 arrests since March 27, used “reasonable force” to return people home on 58 occasions and groups were dispersed just under 1,900 times.