‘It’s completely unacceptable’ - police chief’s warning as officers assaulted while enforcing coronavirus laws

Suffolk Police Chief Constable Steve Jupp Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE

Suffolk Police Chief Constable Steve Jupp Picture: LAUREN DE BOISE - Credit: LAUREN DE BOISE

Suffolk chief constable Steve Jupp has warned people it is “completely unacceptable” to assault police officers enforcing coronavirus restrictions after officers were spat and coughed at and attacked by a dog.

Mr Jupp said officers were “just doing their jobs” and called on communities to comply with the social distancing measures.

His comments come after two specific incidents where police staff were assaulted while attending incidents across Suffolk.

During an interview with BBC Radio Suffolk, Mr Jupp also alluded to several other incidents where his officers had been assaulted.

Mr Jupp said: “Such incidents where my officers, and indeed all emergency staff and key workers such as NHS staff, are physically and verbally abused, simply will not be tolerated and action to prosecute such individuals will be taken.

“It is completely unacceptable to assault a person who is simply going out to do their job and do their best to serve the community, particularly at this time where this behaviour causes increased risk and anxiety to the officers and their families through fear of infection.

“Our priority remains to protect the people of Suffolk. That includes those who may put themselves and others - including my officers - at risk by not taking notice of the government’s instructions.

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“Please remember, incidents of large social gatherings are still not acceptable – and although it is just a very small minority, this pushing of the limits of what is acceptable needs to stop.

“Use your common sense to ensure we all play a role in saying at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Information of two specific incidents in Suffolk have been revealed.

It was reported that on Saturday, April 25, at about 8.30pm, officers received a report of about 20 people gathering in the Peterhouse Close area of Mildenhall.

Upon arrival, officers spoke to the group and advised them to return to their homes, which they swiftly did.

One man became abusive and after, failing to adhere to advice, was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.

Whilst being arrested, a woman officer was injured in the process, with her wrist sustaining swelling and bruising.

The suspect was taken to Bury St Edmunds Police Investigation Centre for questioning.

Colin Faley, 43, of Peterhouse Close in Mildenhall, was later charged with being drunk and disorderly and assault of a police officer.

He was released on police bail to appear before Suffolk Magistrates’ Court, in Ipswich, on Tuesday, June 9 at 9.15am.

In a separate incident over the weekend, officers attended reports of a disturbance between a man and a woman in London Road South, Lowestoft on Sunday, April 26 at about 7.50pm.

A woman was arrested on suspicion for being drink and disorderly after refusing to go home and was taken to Great Yarmouth Police Investigation Centre.

The suspect, whilst in custody, coughed in the face of an officer. She was subsequently arrested on suspicion of assault on an emergency worker.

Tallulah Sparksman, 28, of London Road South in Lowestoft, was charged with assault on an emergency worker and for being drunk and disorderly.

She was released on police bail to appear before Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court on May 25 at 9.30am.

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