Prison sentences to double for attacks on emergency staff
Government announces new law to help protect workers.
Anyone who attacks an emergency service worker will be jailed for twice as long, under a new law which is being brought in to crackdown on abuse.
The law will make it a criminal offence to assault workers including paramedics, firefighters, police, prison officers, search and rescue personnel and custody officers.
Currently, an offender could be handed a maximum six-month prison sentence for common assault. The new Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill could now see 12-month jail-terms for perpetrators.
In the past year alone, there have been more than 26,000 assaults recorded against police officers in England and Wales and 17,000 on NHS Staff.
Chris Bryant MP, the Labour MP who started the law’s journey as a Private Members Bill, said: “The growing tide of attacks on emergency workers is a national scandal.
“All too often attackers get away with little more than a slap on the wrist.
“I hope this new law will help put a stop to that attitude. An attack on an emergency worker is an attack on all of us and attackers should face the full force of the law.
“Now it is for the prosecuting authorities and the courts to play their part in putting a stop to the violence, so that emergency workers can get on doing their job in peace.”
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