A WOMAN has been arrested after she reportedly scratched an officer on the neck after being asked why she was not wearing a face covering in a shopping centre.

Cleveland Police officers on foot patrol in the Hill Street Shopping Centre in Middlesbrough had been engaging with members of the public in relation to coronavirus regulations around 11am on Thursday morning.

The centre clearly outlines the need to wear a face covering inside it and by law, members of the public are expected to wear a face covering before entering a shopping centre and must keep it on until they leave (unless there is a reasonable excuse for removing it).

Police approached the woman and asked if she had a medical reason for not wearing a face covering.

The woman then became verbally abusive and shouted at the officers before refusing to provide her details.

As the woman was led out of the shopping centre, she then scratched the officer to the left side of his neck.

The 47-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker and she remains in police custody at this time.