Liberals push for police powers to crack down on deliberate spitting, coughing during pandemic

People who deliberately cough or spit on frontline police officers will face heavy penalties under amendments being pushed by the Canberra Liberals.

The Shadow Minister for Police and Emergency Services Giulia Jones will today move an amendment to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 to make it an offence to intentionally cough or spit on a police officer in a way that causes fear of the spread of Coronavirus. The amendment will give police the power to issue an infringement notice of $1,500 for committing the offence.

“This sort of behaviour is disgusting and should not be tolerated,” Mrs Jones said.

“These temporary powers will provide police with the ability to issue a fine to anyone who intentionally spits or coughs on them in a way that would likely cause fear of the spread of Coronavirus.

“Our frontline police officers are out on the beat everyday risking their lives for our community. We need to ensure they have the powers and protections they need to do their job,” Mrs Jones said.