A police chief has revealed people spitting at emergency workers during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could get up to two years in prison under new legislation.
Chief constable Alan Pughsley spoke out about his "disgust" towards people who have done this, and said those who do it will feel the full extent of the law.
Chief constable Alan Pughsley talking about the new measures
He said: "I'm incredibly disappointed, disgusted and appalled that people in society behave like that to any emergency worker.
"The new legislation allows up to two years in prison for that.
"I hope if people do it they get the full weight of the law and go to jail for up to two years."
The chief constable announced the crackdown on people spitting at emergency workers at a conference this morning, organised to keep the public informed of their response to the ongoing coronavirus emergency.
It comes as a thief who spat at a police officer and laughed as he told him "I have coronavirus" was jailed.
Oliver Cook, 35, was arrested outside Co-op in Oxford Street, Whitstable, at about 6.20pm on Sunday after he was seen trying to steal meat.
As he was searched by officers, he spat at one and claimed he had Covid-19.
He was later charged with two counts of assaulting an emergency worker, theft and criminal damage.
Mr Cook was jailed for 120 days.
Officers across the county have also been told to "engage" with members of the public by explaining new government social distancing laws before encouraging them to go home or disperse.
Mr Pughsley has told police and crime commissioner, Matthew Scott, that officers will only use "enforcement" of coronavirus emergency powers as a last resort.
Earlier this week, KentOnline revealed no fines had yet been issued to members of the public who are ignoring the social distancing rules.
Despite this, officers have been dispersing crowds of people who have not been heeding warnings from the government to stay in lockdown.