Threat to police and front-line workers will not be tolerated

Lord Advocate reiterates the Crown's commitment to deal robustly with any reported person who deliberately coughs or spits at police officers or front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

THE Lord Advocate has reiterated the Crown's commitment that any reported person who deliberately coughs or spits at Police officers or other front-line workers during the coronavirus emergency will be dealt with robustly by Scotland's prosecution service.

James Wolffe QC, who is head of the system of prosecution in Scotland, has said placing at risk the health of any citizen, and especially the health of essential workers at this time, would present a ‘compelling case for prosecution in the public interest.’

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC said:"Scotland's prosecution service will take action to protect public safety, and the safety of essential front-line workers, at all times.

“The Crown has a range of responses available to tackle unacceptable criminal conduct that may arise during the coronavirus pandemic. Any person who deliberately endangers life, or spreads fear and alarm by pretending to do so, will be dealt with robustly.  It is difficult to imagine a more compelling case for prosecution in the public interest. 

"The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service is working closely with Police Scotland to ensure continued effective investigation and prosecution of crime that places public safety as a priority."

Coughing on or spitting at someone, depending on the circumstances, may be an assault or constitute the crime of culpable and reckless conduct.

COPFS has issued revised guidelines to police on liberation in Covid-19 related cases, which are supportive of serious matters being reported from custody.