The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill gained Royal Assent last week, as previously reported by Island Echo, and will come into force in November. Bob was vocal in his support for the Bill and pressed for tougher jail terms.
It means that those who assault workers like police officers, paramedics, prison officers, NHS staff and firefighters will see their sentences double from 6 months to a year. This is also true for assaults against search and rescue personnel.
Even those who are helping emergency workers will receive greater protection and judges can now also hand down tougher sentences for more serious offences such as grievous bodily harm and sexual assault if an emergency worker was the victim.
Bob has said:
“This new law is overdue and will do much to help protect our emergency workers who are serving their communities with so much distinction.
“This legislation also had strong cross-party support and I’m pleased it has been strengthened further to make sure the unacceptable rising tide of attacks against emergency staff is tackled.
“Thanks must go to Chris Bryant MP and many others from across the house for their hard work in making sure this important piece of legislation is now on the statute book.”
There has been an increase in assaults on emergency workers in recent years with 26,000 assaults on police officers in the past year and over 17,000 on NHS staff.
Assaults on prison officers rose by 70% in the 3 years to 2017, with an 18% increase experienced by firefighters in the past 2 years too, according to government figures.