Maximum sentences needed for people who spit at 'Essential Workers' during COVID-19 crisis

Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order

New Zealand First Law and Order Spokesperson Darroch Ball is proposing that spitting at essential workers during this current COVID-19 crisis should automatically be met with the maximum sentences.

Spitting at someone is currently classed as common assault under the Summary Offences Act 1981, with a maximum sentence meaning either a $4000 fine or a six-month prison term.

Recently a number of police officers and a public transport worker have been spat at while being threatened with being infected by COVID-19.

“Not only does this behaviour put our essential workers in danger, it takes them away from doing their jobs for the rest of the community, says Mr Ball.

“In ordinary circumstances deliberately spitting at anybody is disgraceful, but in the current context of a deadly COVID-19 pandemic it is quite literally threatening people’s lives.

“Workers such as police, nurses, super-market and dairy workers, doctors and public transport workers are all sacrificing their health and safety every day by continuing to do their jobs for our country. 

“There should be no leniency shown to these people who choose to spit at our essential workers.

“We need to show that we are taking this matter seriously and ensure that throughout this COVID-19 crisis maximum sentences are automatically applied.

“We need to come down hard and fast on these offenders and ensure others understand that we will not accept our essential workers on the front line being spat at,” says Mr Ball.

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