Spitting attacks on police may be behind a national rise in assaults on emergency workers during lockdown, officials have said.
Figures from the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) for England and Wales showed a 14% rise in attacks in one month compared with last year.
An officer said the assaults had made colleagues “really wary” on patrol.
The figures, from across 43 territorial forces in England and Wales, are a snapshot of assaults on emergency workers in the four weeks up to 10 May, compared with the same period last year.
According to the NPCC, the increase was probably down to a rise in attacks where suspects spat at officers “while claiming to be infected with Covid-19”.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says it has “moved quickly” to bring these cases to justice.