Police Scotland in crackdown as vulnerable 'coughed on' during pandemic

People are deliberately coughing on the vulnerable, claiming to have Covid-19.

Police have warned they will take "robust action" against anyone who coughs on people while claiming to have coronavirus to frighten them.

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Officers said they are aware of a number of incidents where people have deliberately coughed, or threatened to cough, on elderly or vulnerable people after suggesting they are infected with Covid-19.

People are deliberately coughing on the vulnerable. Picture: National Institutes of Health/AFP via Getty Images)

Police Scotland said it was not a "harmless prank" and is extremely upsetting for victims.

They warned such behaviour would not be tolerated.

The warning follows an incident in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, on Friday when a healthcare worker was travelling home at wround 1.40pm.

She was driving along an unclassified road, from Inchmarlo Golf Course to Brathens Wood, when she saw someone sitting on the ground waving to attract her attention.

A youth moved towards her when she stopped her car and coughed directly in her face, telling her that she would now get coronavirus. He then ran off into the woods laughing, where he is believed to have joined a group of other youths.

Chief Superintendent David Duncan, of the Safer Communities Division, said: "These are difficult times and we all need to look out for others and do what we can to keep our communities as safe as possible.

"We've become aware of a number of incidents where people have suggested they are infected with coronavirus and deliberately coughed, or threatened to cough, on elderly or vulnerable people.

"This is not a harmless prank - this is extremely upsetting to victims and causes fear and increased anxiety at an already stressful time.

"We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour and we will take robust action against anyone threatening other people in this way."