Matt Warman MP has today praised local public service workers and volunteers for their work, and made the case for giving them further legal protections from being attacked.
In the first Parliamentary debate on the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill, Matt highlighted a recent attack on police officers in Boston, demonstrating why new legislation is needed to protect public servants in the course of their duties.
Matt said, “We tell ourselves in this place that everyone is on the side of our public servants, but frankly that is not always the case. I pay tribute to Constables Mike Redfern, Michael Rooke and Dan Lewis, who were injured on Friday night in the course of their duties. This legislation is clearly vital.”
He also praised the RNLI in Skegness, who often take great personal risk to protect those visiting Lincolnshire coastline, and called for greater protection for GPs, who can often find themselves vulnerable when alone with patients who may be seeking emergency care.
The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill, sponsored by Rhondda MP Chris Bryant, aims to protect emergency workers though creating a statutory aggravating factor to be considered should they be attacked. Should a person be convicted of a specific offence, the judge would have to consider the fact it was committed against an emergency worker as an aggravating factor in determining the sentence within the maximum allowed for the particular offence. This will cover assault causing ABH, wounding or inflicting GBH, and manslaughter.
The Bill will also create a new aggravated version of the offences of common assault and battery when committed against an emergency worker, for which the maximum allowed for common assault will be increased from six months to 12 months.
After the debate, Matt commented, “The shocking attack on three police officers in Boston last week highlights exactly why we need to introduce greater protection for our brave emergency service workers, who often put themselves at risk to protect us or care for us. I am very pleased that there is cross-party and Government support for this Bill, and look forward to seeing it progress as quickly so that we can bring in the new laws as soon as possible.”
Notes to editors:
- Matt’s contribution to the debate can be seen (today) via the following link:http://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-10-20/debates/EEEACF0D-7006-4FC1-9344-0D10E80F04F5/AssaultsOnEmergencyWorkers(Offences)Bill
- More information on the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill can be found here:https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2017-19/assaultsonemergencyworkersoffences.html