24 April 2020 

An alleged attack on three Northern Territory police officers in a remote Central Australia community has highlighted the need for urgent law changes to immediately punish offenders who spit or cough on Territory workers, including police at any time.

Northern Territory Police Association President, Paul McCue, welcomed the passing of legislation this afternoon which allows police to enforce a $5,495 on the spot fine for people who threaten and intimidate workers by spitting or coughing and claiming to have COVID-19.

“Offenders who commit this disgusting crime can still face the courts, but the provision for an on the spot fine reiterates a zero tolerance for this kind of behaviour.

“The attack on three of our members in Central Australia yesterday afternoon, where a 38-year-old man was charged with several offences relating to spitting at the officers, as well as biting, kicking and grabbing an officer’s firearm during an arrest is absolutely shameful.

“We echo the words of Acting Superintendent Michael Potts: this behaviour is shocking and inexcusable, and we would expect this alleged offender to face the full force of the law if found guilty.

“The NTPA continues to call for a commitment to mandatory sentencing for anyone who assaults an emergency service worker, which is in line with community expectations,” said Mr McCue.


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