POLICE officers in Thames Valley have been spat at, coughed at and bitten 50 times since the country was put in lockdown.

Figures released yesterday show that between March and April there were 198 assaults on TVP officers – 40 more attacks since the same month the year before.

The Chief Constable of the police has now said it is ‘despicable’ and vowed to fully investigate all incidents.

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John Campbell said: “We are hugely grateful and thankful to the overwhelming majority of the Thames Valley public who have been complying with the new Coronavirus legislation and helping to save lives and being hugely generous and respectful of our officers.

“However these figures show that a minority think it acceptable to assault our officers.

“To spit, cough or bite an officer or emergency service worker is despicable at any time but in the current situation with Coronavirus it is even more deplorable.

“As a Force we will not tolerate any assault of our officers or assaults on other emergency service workers, we will fully investigate and we will work closely with the Crown Prosecution to bring the offenders to justice."

He said that officers who had been assaulted would be supported by the force.

The head of the Thames Valley Police Federation, Craig O’ Leary, echoed his message, saying that police officers should be able to do their job without any fear of being assaulted, adding that criminals will 'face the full weight of the law'.