The maximum penalty for attacks on 999 workers is doubling from today

The maximum penalty for attacks on 999 workers is doubling from today

Persons attacking or attacking emergency workers face prolonged prison sentences, as a new law supported by the government is now receiving Royal Assentation.

A new offense will double the maximum sentence from six to twelve months in prison for attacking an ambulance.

This includes police officers, law enforcement officers, security officers, firefighters, search and rescue services and paramedics.

The new law will also require judges to consider harsher penalties for a range of other offenses – including GBH and sexual assault – if the victim is an ambulance.

The ministers have acted to acknowledge the gratitude that the public has for our emergency services and the courage, dedication and dedication that they show every day in the accomplishment of their duties.

Justice Minister Rory Stewart said, "Attacking attackers or other forces is not just an isolated attack – it represents violence against the public as a whole.

"Every day these officials do extraordinary work for us, and they must be able to do so without fear of being attacked.

"Our message is clear – we will protect our emergency services and violence against them will not be tolerated.

"I want to thank Chris Bryant MP and other colleagues throughout the house for their tireless work in implementing this important law."

In recent years there has been an increase in attacks on emergency services. Last year, 26,000 police were attacked and more than 17,000 by NHS staff.

The number of prison sentences in prison increased by 70% over the three years to 2017, and by 18% in the last two years.

There is already a specific offense for the attack on a police officer, but for the first time a similar protection is extended to anyone who carries out the work of an emergency service.

The law also provides additional protection for unpaid volunteers who support the provision of emergency services.

The government worked closely with Representative Chris Bryant, who drafted the bill to draft the legislation and ensure that it is passed successfully in Parliament. After today's royal approval, the measures will come into force in November.

Nick Hurd, Minister of Police and Fire, said, "Being attacked should never be part of the job for our courageous rescue workers, who put themselves at risk of protecting us.

"This law will ensure that judges can properly punish those despicable individuals who find it acceptable to attack these hard-working men and women.

"Unfortunately, all too often I hear about cowardly attacks on police and firefighters, they serve as a constant reminder of the threats these officials face, and this government will always stay with our rescue services."

Two policemen participate in an emergency
Posed image: Two police officers participating in an emergency

Chris Bryant, Member of the Private Members Bill, said, "The growing tide of attacks on rescue workers – including ambulance workers, NHS workers, firefighters, prison guards, and police officers – is a national scandal.

"All too often, the attackers get away with just a slap on the wrist.

"I hope this new law will put a stop to this attitude.

"An attack on an ambulance is an attack on us all and attackers should experience the full force of the law.

"Now law enforcement agencies and the courts must do their part to stop the violence so that the forces can do their jobs in peace."

Kim Sunley, National Officer at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), said: "Physical abuse is a fact of life for many healthcare workers, from A & E to social services.

"This bill is the first step to change that forever.

"From now on, anyone who willfully attacks a health worker will feel the full power of the law and face a heavier sentence if found guilty.

"The RCN has worked tirelessly for this law, and our negotiations have ensured that as many healthcare workers as possible are covered, including community and district nurses, and we have expanded the scope of the law to include sexual assault along with other representatives of emergency workers. "

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