I WAS dismayed on reading in the Echo of the policeman who was “spat at” and and has since developed an illness.

A number of years ago a police officer at a football match was spat at by an angry supporter and the officer eventually died from meningitis, the bug often exists in the nasal passages and carriers are not aware of its presence.

Spitting is a foul habit and I’m old enough to remember the notices at head height on buses warning passengers not to spit.

The danger then was tuberculosis but nowadays there are many other health hazards that can be spread by water and mucus droplets.

While waiting for my wife as she shopped at Asda on Thursday (I’m severely disabled and waited in our car) a man walked by and was spitting as he passed.

Returning very soon afterwards with an NHS style prescription bag he spat again as he walked by other people.

Read to today's other letters

Spitting seems to be socially acceptable to British youngsters.

It takes a very brave – and perhaps foolish because of the chances of being stabbed or punched – person to advise someone not to spit in public.

But we must stop this dreadful and increasingly common dangerous habit.

The police treat spitting (at them) very seriously indeed.

So why must we, the general public tolerate it?

Rob Mannion

Spencer Road, Bournemouth