Retired policeman Norman Brennan has warned those that cough at officers amid the coronavirus pandemic should “expect to be Tasered” and arrested.
It comes after a man was jailed this week after he intentionally coughed at, and threatened to spit on, two officers.
The defendant, Michael Gray, said he hoped the officers contracted Covid-19 and passed in on to their children.
Mr Brennan, who now campaigns for police protection, said assaults on officers had been rising over the last 10 years.
Speaking to talkRADIO’s Ian Collins, he said: “People have always spat at us, kicked us, punched us and unfortunately more often now pull a knife out on us.”
But he added that the virus outbreak was “equivalent to probably World War Three”.
“There are people that have such contempt for society - because police protect society - that they, knowing that there is such a dreadful disease that is killing many thousands, will spit and cough in an officers face.
“Let me tell all of them that if you cough at one of my colleagues with that sort of tone, expect to be Tasered, expect to be arrested and expect to be spending at least up to a year in prison.”
His warning ended: “Then you can think about what you've done while we get on with our job and protect society, which is our prime focus.”
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