Gardai to be issued 'spit hoods'

Gardai say spit hoods will be deployed as a temporary measure for the duration of the coronavirus crisis.

The device covers the entire face of a suspect and stops them spitting at, coughing on or biting officers. 

It follows a number of incidents where front line workers have been coughed on or spat at. 

Gardai are investigating one incident at Blanchardstown Hospital in Dublin, where a healthcare worker was spat at deliberately.

Her alleged attacker has since tested positive for Covid-19.

Gardaí are calling on people to report any instances where they have been threatened or intimidated by people deliberately coughing and spitting at them.

They says this activity could amount to an offence under the Public Order Act or Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

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