Robin Walker MP has hailed the introduction of a new law, backed by the government, which received Royal Assent yesterday. Individuals who assault or attack emergency personnel will now receive much tougher sentences.
The new law will double the maximum sentence from 6 to 12 months in prison for assaulting an emergency worker- including police, prison officers, custody officers, fire service personnel, search and rescue services and paramedics. Judges now have a legal obligation to consider harsher sentences for those who have committed a serious offence against emergency workers.
Ministers have acted in recognition of the debt of gratitude the public feels towards our emergency services, and for the bravery, commitment and devotion emergency workers show everyday as they carry out their duties, protecting the public and saving lives.
The Worcester MP is a long-standing supporter of the police, and warmly welcomed September’s news of funding for 100 new police officers in the region. Later this month, Robin will be shadowing police officers as they carry out their duty on the streets of Worcester, witnessing first-hand the invaluable work they do every day to protect local residents.
Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia, John Campion, launched a campaign called #behindthebadge last year, advocating for better protection of police officers and police staff ensuring that if they face abuse, the same protections and procedures available to victims of assault are available to them.
Welcoming the introduction of this law, Robin said:
“The police and emergency services work tirelessly, day in day out to defend the public and save lives and I think that it is absolutely right for the law to protect those who protect us.
“Facing abuse or assault should never be a part of the job of emergency service workers, who quite literally put themselves in danger to ensure the safety of members of the public.
“This law safeguards the rights of these courageous men and women, and gives judges the power to hand down harsher sentences on those who abuse them.
“I look forward to spending the afternoon with police officers in Worcester, and would like to take this opportunity to thank all our local emergency service workers for looking after the people of the Worcester, and assure them that the Government and I will always stand with them.”
John Campion, Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia said:
“I am confident that West Mercia Police is committed to keeping officers and staff safe. I have seen for myself the regular training officers get and the support mechanisms that are already in place for our workforce. Additional help and advice is available through the Police Federation and Victims Support.
“These internal processes are unquestionably strong. What I would like to see is fewer of these incidents happening in the first place. As part of my promise to deliver a safer, more secure West Mercia, I am taking a united approach, along with the police, our partners and our communities to continue to make this a priority.”
Justice Minister Rory Stewart said:
“Assaulting prison officers or any emergency worker is not just an isolated attack – it represents violence against the public as a whole. Every day these public servants do extraordinary work on our behalf, and they must be able to do it without the fear of being assaulted.
“Our message is clear – we will protect our emergency services and violence towards them will not be tolerated. I’d like to thank Chris Bryant MP, and other colleagues from across the House for their tireless work introducing this important law.”
Notes to editors
For more information on the new law please see:
For Robin’s previous press releases on policing please see:
For more information on #behindthebadge please see: