Police in the region have been subjected to “many shocking attacks” during the coronavirus crisis, a senior chief has said.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick Bailey has described how his colleagues have been physically injured by yobs and other offenders have coughed and spat at officers, while claiming they have covid-19.

The ACC has spoken about the “appalling” attacks as officer safety training across the country is set to be overhauled following a review and safety survey commissioned by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and College of Policing in September 2019.

ACC Bailey said: “Sadly, over recent times, we have seen an increase in the number of incidents where officers have been assaulted while fulfilling their duties to fight crime and protecting our communities.

“Throughout the ongoing response to covid-19 alone, GMP officers have been on the receiving end many shocking attacks – some have been physically injured whilst others have been spat on and coughed at, by individuals claiming to have covid-19.

“Thankfully, a number of these incidents have resulted in charges and could lead to custodial sentences.

“Any form of attack on a police officer, or any other emergency services worker is appalling, and each incident serves as an unfortunate reminder of the dangers and difficulties that they are faced with on a daily basis when working hard to protect the public."

“At GMP the safety of our officers is paramount, and we are doing all that we can to reduce the risk to them by ensuring that they are fully trained and well equipped with the tools that they need to do their job effectively.

“Assaults can often have a long-lasting effect on officers, both physically and mentally, and therefore should not be taken lightly."

“In instances where an officer is assaulted while on duty, we ensure that they receive the necessary support from the force and where appropriate, take action against the offenders as attacking an emergency services worker is a criminal offence.”

Provisional figures released by the NPCC throughout the crisis show a continuing trend of increased assaults against emergency service workers.

From the four weeks up to August 2, 2020, forces across the country saw a 31 per cent increase in assaults against emergency workers compared with the same period in 2019.