Welsh Assembly backs protection for assaulted officers
28 February 2018
Chris Bryant MP
On Tuesday evening the Welsh Assembly Government voted to allow UK legislation aimed at toughening sentences for those who attack the emergency service workers to take effect in Wales.
The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill, which received its second reading last year, will once passed introduce tougher sentences on those who assault blue light responders. The bill is the culmination of the Federation's Protect the Protectors campaign, alongside supportive MPs and partners.
Rhondda MP Chris Byrant, pictured, who is sponsoring the Bill in the UK Parliament, said: "An attack on an emergency worker is, in a sense, an attack on all of us because they're simply trying to save other people's lives. I just think that we need to say loud and clear that if you attack an emergency worker, we will not put up with it.”
The momentum for a change in the law has been gathering support with assaults on emergency workers increasingly being condemned as unacceptable. Shocking statistics from our own research reveal that a police officer is assaulted every four minutes in England and Wales.
Calum Macleod, Chairman of the Police Federation for England and Wales said: “The result in Wales this week is incredibly encouraging as it’s what we have been working towards for the past few years. Getting support in the Welsh Assembly will hopefully move us a step closer to getting the result we need in order to help protect our members. Day in day out officers put concerns for their own safety behind their desire to protect the public and serve their communities.
“The law has to change to show how heinous it is to attack any member of the emergency services. It should never be the case that violence is accepted as ‘just part of the job’. We will continue to push our ‘Protect the Protectors’ campaign until the law is enacted and I hope that Members of Parliament in Westminster will continue to support these legislative changes and pass this legislation in April.”