By Alice Aitken
By Alice Aitken
By Jessica Johnson
PC David Roberts-Ablett shares his concerns about catching Covid-19 after a man with symptoms coughed in his face
Two Cumbrian police officers who dived into the sea to rescue two young girls, have been nominated for national bravery awards.
PCs Colin Dunne and Alun Masters were told that the 12-year-olds had been seen clinging to the rocks near the disused Maryport lighthouse.
The two girls were too frightened to let go of the rocks, but the two officers swam out to them and eventually encouraged them enough to return to the shore.
The officers were due to be recognised at the National Police Bravery Awards earlier this year, but the ceremony has been postponed until July next year, because of coronavirus.
The widow of PC Andrew Harper wants life sentences for anyone who kills an emergency worker.
BBC Look North
North East and Cumbria
The chairman of the Cleveland Police Federation is calling for tougher sentences to be given to those found guilty of attacking officers after he said incidents of punching, kicking and spitting had doubled.
Glen Teeley says the rise in attacks is infuriating.
During the pandemic between the end of March and middle of May there were 81 assaults on police workers.
Quote Message: A certain percentage of our population has weaponised the coronavirus, they've used the coughing, the sneezing and spitting against officers and custody staff, saying they're positive with coronavirus. from Glen Teeley Chair, Cleveland Police Federation
The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers in England and Wales, has criticised the way the Avon and Somerset force handled anti-racism demonstrations in Bristol over the weekend.
Officers didn't intervene as protesters toppled the statue of the slave owner, Edward Colston, which the Policing Minister, Kit Malthouse, has condemned as "an act of criminal damage".
The Police Federation says the decision sent "quite a negative message".
Supt Andy Bennett was on the streets yesterday during the protest and he says accusations of "lawlessness" are not accurate.
He says the police have identified 17 people responsible for pulling the statue down yesterday, which happened in just two minutes.
BBC Radio Devon
April saw the highest number of assaults on Devon and Cornwall Police officers and staff in the last three years, the organisation that represents officers up to the rank of chief inspector has said.
The Devon and Cornwall Police Federation said on Monday that 105 incidents were recorded - equating to more than three a day.
It said about 20 to 25% of those assaults involved spitting, with offenders threatening to give officers Covid-19.
Quote Message: Spitting is horrible at the best of times. But when it comes with threats like: 'I’ve got Covid. Have a bit of this', that’s just beyond the pale.
Quote Message: Police are always talked about as running towards danger, but I think what many feel at the moment is that they’ve got their families with them in their back pockets and there is the potential that they could bring that infection back home." from Insp Andy Berry Chairman, Devon and Cornwall Police Federation
Devon and Cornwall Chief Constable Shaun Sawyer said last month that assaults on any key workers were "unacceptable" and threatening to spread Covid-19 to anyone was "intolerable".
Last month, a woman was jailed for six months for spitting blood into the face of a police officer in Exeter.
Two women have also been recently given suspended sentences for spitting at officers during the virus outbreak.
Pc Matt Lannie died after a collision between his motorbike and car while he was on duty.
A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs' Council, which is overseeing distribution of PPE to forces, said: "There are sufficient supplies of PPE coming in to all forces.
"The delivery of these is being carefully managed through regional hubs, with the logistical assistance of the military.
"We recognise the challenges some forces are facing in distribution of PPE from the regional hubs down to a force level, and this is the subject of daily conversations with forces to ensure officers get the PPE they need."
The Department of Health, which is responsible for supply, has been contacted for comment.
From the Press Association
Police officers could die if they do not receive protective equipment to wear while working during the coronavirus outbreak, campaigners have warned.
Mark Andrews, chairman of the Wiltshire branch of the Police Federation of England and Wales, accused the government of "effectively treating police officers as collateral damage" due to a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
His comments come after Simon Kempton, who sits on the federation's national board, told the Commons Home Affairs Committee something had "gone wrong" in the supply chain of PPE for officers, and while a "huge amount" has been ordered, it is not always getting to frontline staff.
Mr Andrews said current levels of PPE for officers are "inconsistent" and claimed if levels of equipment do not swiftly improve "a police officer will fall as they didn't have the kit to look after them".
Mr Andrews said: "I have been warning about this for weeks now and it's got to the point that I'm seriously worried that we are waiting for an operational police officer to die before the government addresses this serious issue.
"To be frank, the feeling among the officers I represent is that we are effectively being treated as collateral damage by the Government in the continuing fight against the virus. That is completely unacceptable."