Police officers ‘assaulted, spat at and bitten by dog’ while breaking up weekend parties and barbecues

Suffolk Constabulary chief constable Steve Jupp said police officers have been assaulted, spat at an

Suffolk Constabulary chief constable Steve Jupp said police officers have been assaulted, spat at and bitten by a dog while enforcing coronavirus lockdown laws Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Rachel Edge

Police officers in Suffolk were assaulted, spat and coughed at and attacked by a dog while trying to break up street parties and barbecues at the weekend, the chief constable has revealed.

Suffolk Constabulary’s chief constable Steve Jupp said people had “by and large” been following lockdown laws in Suffolk, but has hit out at “certain elements” of society who have flouted lockdown rules and put safety of the public, the NHS and his officers at risk.

Speaking to Radio Suffolk on Monday morning, April 27, Mr Jupp called on people not to “push the limits of common sense” and think about their actions.

He said: “We have seen more people travelling to country parks for exercise, so I would say – can we think about ‘do we really need to go there?’ and use common sense. But by and large, Suffolk communities are really sticking to the advice.

“That said, we have seen, unfortunately, a couple of street parties and barbecues that we have had to break up.

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“There is also a continuance sadly of my officers being spat at over the weekend, coughed at. I’ve had one officer assaulted while breaking up a street party and one bitten by a dog.

“It is unbelievable isn’t it?

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“I think this is the sort of space that perhaps a few – and I emphasise a few – are getting in to, about how they can just stretch their tolerance levels around the guidance that we’re all sticking to.”

Mr Jupp added he believes there is a “grey area” that has been created following an issuing of lockdown guideline advice from the Crown Prosecution Service last week, which said it is legal for people to stop for a short break while exercising outdoors and to drive for exercise.

Among some of the other reports the constabulary received were for people sunbathing on the beach and for people kitesurfing.

Mr Jupp said: “I think by and large, the discipline we stuck to keeping to this is because we have all used a really good common sense approach. And I would urge everyone to do that again.

“Exercise is critically important, getting out of our houses at this time is really important, particularly in this warm weather. But use that common sense, because you may go on an individual journey you think is ok, but then if 50 other people go on the same individual journey to the same place, obviously it creates an issue for us.

“This is about all of us looking at the guidance, common sense – really, sitting on a beach and reading a book? Is it the right thing to do? Certainly not.”

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