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Taranaki man ordered to serve three months in jail after spitting on police officers

A Taranaki man has been jailed for three months after spitting on police officers overnight.

A Police car at the scene of an investigation. Source: 1 NEWS

Police were called in the early hours of this morning after the man went onto several private properties during the lockdown.

However when they arrived, he became aggressive and spat at officers, a police spokesperson said today.

The man was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on police.

When he appeared in New Plymouth District Court this morning, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three months in jail.

Neither the man nor the officer have been tested for Covid-19, with a police spokesperson telling 1 NEWS testing was "not required".

"In the current environment we have identified spitting as an escalating risk to both police officers and the community and it will not be tolerated," police said in a statement.

"While we have a range of measures in place to protect our people, given the frontline nature of police work there are risks."

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Police Commissioner Andrew Coster warns culprits face up to 14 years in jail if they actually make someone sick. Source: 1 NEWS

Yesterday Police Commissioner Andrew Coster blasted the "completely unacceptable" behaviour of people spitting and coughing on police officers, health workers and supermarket staff.

As of yesterday, eight police staff were in isolation while awaiting Covid-19 test results after such incidents.

Spitting or coughing on someone and infecting them is illegal under the Crimes Act, with up to 14 years jail possible.