Dozens of Northumbria Police officers have tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic began, new figures show

Dozens of Northumbria Police officers have tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic began, new figures show.

Friday, 13th November 2020, 8:48 am
Dozens of Northumbria Police officers have tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic began, new figures show.
Dozens of Northumbria Police officers have tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic began, new figures show.

The Police Federation says officers across the country are in “constant worry” when faced with offenders who may spit, bite and cough while being dealt with.

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request from Northumbria Police show a total of 44 police officers have tested positive for the virus up until October 8 .

The number includes 39 police constables and five higher ranking officers.

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Nationally, at least 849 police officers have tested positive at the 26 UK forces which answered identical Freedom of Information Act requests.

Durham Constabulary could not provide the number of officers with positive coronavirus tests.

But it confirmed that 37 officers had been absent due to Covid-19.

In August, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing issued new guidance to police forces on the use of personal protective equipment.

Advice was also given on social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures, but it was accepted that maintaining a two-metre distance was not always possible.

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Chairman of the Police Federation John Apter said it was “inevitable” some officers would catch the virus.

But he added: “There is also the constant worry of bringing the virus home to their loved ones which is exacerbated when they deal with offenders who weaponise the virus by spitting, biting and coughing - which is disgusting and unacceptable.

“People need to realise that behind the uniform, officers are mothers, fathers, sons and daughters.”

Mr Apter urged the public “not to give up now” on combating the virus and to follow latest guidelines.

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