Halifax MP calls for tougher sentences for assaults on emergency workers

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Halifax MP Holly Lynch, is hoping to change the law to ensure that harsher sentences are handed down to those who assault emergency workers.

Ms Lynch’s Crime (Assaults on Emergency Services Staff) bill will be presented today under the ’10 minute rule’ motion device, which allows MPs to put forward their own laws.

She started her campaign after having to call 999 from a police car last summer when the lone officer she was out on patrol with found himself surrounded by an angry crowd after a routine stop.

Ms Lynch launched her draft legislation to both police officers and MPs at an event in Westminster last week.

The new law, should it get Government backing, would introduce tougher penalties for anyone who assaults an emergency service worker including police, firefighters, paramedics, doctors and nurses.

It would also require someone who spits at an emergency responder to provide a blood sample to rule out the risk of having transmitted a communicable disease. If they refuse to provide a blood sample they will face a fine and a custodial sentence.

Ms Lynch said: “Having been out and done frontline shifts will the police, fire and rescue and paramedics in Halifax, I have become increasingly concerned at the risks they face from a small minority.

“It is unacceptable to ask our emergency service responders to face assaults, and the law should reflect this.

“I have heard particularly shocking stories from emergency workers who have been spat at in the course of doing their jobs.

“This is not just very unpleasant, but can have very serious consequences. Spitting at dedicated public servants has no place is our society and this bill aims to enshrine that in law.”