Police faced 89 Covid-related attacks during early lockdown

Examples of coronavirus-related attacks include being coughed at or spat on.

Police faced 89 Covid-related attacks during early lockdown Police Scotland

Police Scotland officers and staff were subjected to 89 coronavirus-related attacks in the first few weeks of lockdown, figures show.

Officers faced dozens of attacks classed as related to the virus – for example, being coughed at or spat on – in late March and April.

The Scottish Conservatives, who obtained the data, said it was “abhorrent” key workers had suffered the assaults.

The party’s justice spokesman Liam Kerr branded the attacks “completely unacceptable”.

Police Scotland revealed its officers and other staff members were subjected to 265 assaults in the period March 24 to April 30.

Theses included 89 attacks classified as coronavirus-related.

In response to a freedom of information request, the force revealed a study was carried out analysing crimes between the two dates.

Kerr said: “These assaults on police officers are completely unacceptable and the SNP government must condemn them in the strongest possible terms.

“Our emergency services have been at the forefront of the Covid response and they have jeopardised their own safety in the process.

“There can be no reason or excuse for attacking these officers who deserve nothing but our gratitude.

“The fact that 90 of these offences were Covid-related is particularly abhorrent.”

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said: “No one should be the victim of abuse or violence while at work. Assaults on police officers are despicable and courts have extensive powers to deal robustly with perpetrators.

“We continue to encourage all organisations to support staff who experience violence in the workplace, including reporting incidents to the police for action to be taken.”

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