Yobs claiming they have coronavirus who have spat at or threatened to spit at people in Wigan are slammed

Mindless yobs who have spat at or threatened to spit at people in Wigan while claiming they have coronavirus have been slammed.
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Yobs who have spat at or threatened to spit at people in Wigan while claiming they have coronavirus have been slammed.

Frightening and disgusting incidents, branded “unacceptable” by the authorities, have happened several times in Wigan in recent days, police have revealed.

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One incident saw a man spit towards staff at Sainsbury’s in Marus Bridge after becoming annoyed that he could not buy a product from the store.

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Another person on social media reported seeing a woman go into One Stop in Platt Bridge and steal coffee. She then went on to threaten staff by saying she had the virus and would spit on them, before fleeing with shopping.

And in Bryn and Ashton, youths are also alleged to have made threats to infect victims with Covid-19.

Sgt Paul Higham, from Wigan Police, said: “We had one incident at Sainsbury’s in Marus Bridge recently.

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“A young man in a car from Widnes spat at some management who were controlling queues outside the store, as he was annoyed he couldn’t get something from the supermarket. Action has been taken against him.

“These incidents are completely unacceptable, especially with the risk spitting creates with coronavirus.

“If anyone is verbally abused or threatened or spat at, we will take action as it’s a form of assault.”

Coun Steve Jones, who represents Bryn on Wigan Council, said: “I’m aware of the incidents in Bryn and Ashton. They are disgusting and I’m shocked and appalled.

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“I’m glad the police have taken this seriously and are looking into it.

“A lot of people are scared and worried at the moment and this behaviour does nothing but add to this.

“The parents of these youths need to make sure their kids take responsibility for their actions and the fact they shouldn’t be gathering during the lockdown.

He added: “I would say though that I don’t think these youths live in the area and have come from outside, as the youths that live here are good kids from respectable families.”

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Prosecutors have said anyone making threats of coronavirus infection will face serious criminal charges, after nationwide reports of police officers, shop workers and vulnerable people being deliberately coughed at by people claiming to have the disease.

The Crown Prosecution Service said such behaviour could constitute common assault, and attacks on emergency workers specifically were punishable by up to two years in prison.

Police said they are aware of the incidents in Bryn and Ashton and are investigating the matters.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.