Spitting at emergency workers should mean immediate imprisonment

Kent MPs have joined together to call for the immediate imprisonment of anyone who spits at emergency workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

It comes after shocking footage captured the moment a thief spat at a police officer before singing “I’ve got corona” in Whitstable last Sunday. Last week, Kent Police’s Chief Constable Alan Pughsley confirmed that such offenders could get up to two years in prison under new legislation.

Now, a letter signed by me and 15 other Members of Parliament to the county’s courts has urged judges to take the firmest possible action.

We cannot tolerate anyone putting the safety of emergency workers at risk. They put their lives on the line helping to beat this crisis – and we must in turn give them our full backing.

Assaulting an emergency worker by coughing or spitting at them is a disgusting act at any time. Carrying out such an act at this time is particularly serious and should be treated as such by the courts. That’s why anyone found spitting at an emergency worker should go straight to jail.

The letter says: “There is a separation of powers that rightly exists in this country, yet it is also right we express our constituents’ views.

“We believe that any person, convicted in Kent’s courts of coughing or spitting at or in any other way threatening an emergency worker by using coronavirus, should expect an immediate term of imprisonment.”

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