A MAN is accused of spitting at a police officer who arrested him on suspicion of smashing cars with a baseball bat.

Sussex Police said they were called in the early hours of this morning to reports of a man damaging cars in Crawley.

He allegedly spat on an officer as he was detained on Leopold Road.

The incident was described as “unacceptable” by the police.

“The male was arrested and then proceeded to spit on one of our officers,” Crawley Police said.

“The suspect is now safely in a cell awaiting interview.”

Last year, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) warned that people spitting at emergency service workers would face the full force of the law.

Chief CPS prosecutor, Martin Goldman, announced: "Anyone who deliberately coughs or spits at an emergency worker and threatens to infect them with Covid should be left in no doubt that we are taking these cases extremely seriously.

“As recent cases before the courts show, we are prosecuting those who commit such crimes with assault, and offenders face up to 12 months in prison.

"Police officers, NHS staff and other emergency workers should be able to perform their vitally important roles without meeting such disgusting and potentially dangerous behaviour.

“We will not hesitate to prosecute those who put the safety of our 999 staff and the safety of the public at risk in this way."