Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is proudly supporting
a campaign launched this week (30 April) against assaults on frontline workers
during the coronavirus pandemic.
‘Are you with us or against us?’ is the question
being posed by key workers from across Nottinghamshire in a direct message to
the communities they serve, following a spate of over 60 incidents where
frontline workers have been coughed on or spat at while on the frontline of
dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
The video appeal features doctors, nurses,
paramedics, police officers, prison officers, firefighters and other frontline
workers from across the county.
Nottinghamshire Police has so far investigated 61
incidents of key workers being coughed on or spat at during the five-week
period from Friday 20 March – just before the nationwide lockdown began – to
Monday 27 April.
So far, 33 people have been charged in connection
with the assaults and a number of people have already been convicted.
Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig
Guildford said: “The vast majority of the public are pulling together and are
doing everything they can to follow the government advice to stay at home and
help save lives.
“Throughout this time, key workers in the NHS, fire
service, police and other essential public services have been selflessly
putting themselves in harm’s way and spending precious time away from their
loved ones to protect the communities they serve.
“These assaults – which have included frontline
staff being coughed on, spat at and violently assaulted – have been committed
at a time when they are working hard to protect the public they are proud to
“I find it abhorrent that anyone would ever think to
spit or cough at an emergency worker and my message to those essential key
workers is clear that Nottinghamshire Police, their fellow keyworkers and the
majority of the Nottinghamshire are right behind you as we work to defeat the
The coughing and spitting assaults have continued
during the lockdown, with a number of offenders maliciously claiming to have
contracted the virus before committing the assaults.
The video message has been launched on social media
and in the press.
Chief Fire Officer John Buckley said: “We are proud
as a Service to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow key workers and take
a zero-tolerance approach to assaults on frontline staff.
“No member of the emergency services or wider public
sector should have to endure offense and disrespect when carrying out their
duties, particularly when their sole aim is to help people – and especially in
such trying circumstances as we all currently find ourselves in.
“We will continue to serve our communities in the best
way we can, and work as part of a co-ordinated effort to get through this