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DATE: 27 March 202 
 
The WA Police Union is calling on the State Government to provide legislation to penalise individuals who threaten frontline workers such as police officers with COVID-19.
 
The proposed legislation would expand existing Assault Public Officer laws to include persons who claim they are infected with COVID-19 and deliberately spit, sneeze or wipe bodily fluids on emergency services workers. This would also apply to any person who claim to have the virus when in fact they do not.  
 
WA Police Union President Harry Arnott said the penalties would act as a deterrent as well as penalise those who put vital emergency services workers at risk.
 
“We have seen some despicable acts on the frontline and they must stop otherwise we run of risk of losing police officers, nurses, ambulance officers and other vital workers to this virus at a time when we need all of them at work,” Mr Arnott said.
 
“We already have legislation in place which imposes a mandatory six months in prison for those who assault police officers. The Government can expand that to include vile individuals who deliberately spit, sneeze or wipe bodily fluids on emergency services workers during this crisis.
 
“We expect that the spectre of six months behind bars would wipe out this behaviour quickly.
 
“This legislation will provide some solace to first responders during this crisis.” 
 
WAPU recommends the legislation cover: police officers, police auxiliary officers, doctors, nurses, ambulance officers, firefighters, prison officers, teachers and any other health worker.  
 
ENDS