Tests for new laws against assaults on emergency workers

The Protect the Protectors Act (or the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 to give its proper name) received Royal Assent recently.

The new legislation increases sentences for those who assault those who work in the emergency services and was an important step forward in showing how we all back them in the roles that they do.

Sadly, due to the scale of assaults on Police Officers, the legislation is being tested in the criminal justice system already. There are many evil people who think that it is acceptable to assault Police Officers; actually, their heinous acts are an assault on society as a whole and rightly they are castigated in the press and on social media.

One of those assaults took place yesterday. I was appalled to see that two Met Police Officers were attacked during the course of a routine stop and put at further risk in the middle of a busy road. Everyone is rightly praising the bystanders who got involved to help, and there has been correct criticism of the individual who sat in his car and did nothing but film. Shame.

It is good to see that one of them has already been charged for the cowardly assault and my best wishes to those Officers who were attacked.

Having family members who have and still work in Policing, I take this issue very personally. No-one should ever expect that this should be considered “part of the job” either.

Criminals like this deserve to be punished and punished severely; it’s now up to the criminal justice system to show that they still take this seriously and come down hard on the perpetrators.

Matthew

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