Halifax MP Holly Lynch hopes to have helped a “cultural change” after successfully bringing about new legislation to protect emergency service workers.
After two years of campaigning, the ‘Protect the Protectors’ Bill - which she first introduced as a Ten Minute Rule Bill in 2016 - will gain ‘Royal Assent’ this week, meaning new protections designed to keep firefighters, police officers and NHS workers safer, will finally become enshrined in law.
Her campaign was born out of an eye-opening experience whilst shadowing West Yorkshire Police in Halifax. A routine vehicle stop quickly escalated and the officer
she was with found himself surrounded by an angry mob. Holly found herself having to call 999 for back up from a police vehicle.
Holly said: “Having secured a debate with a view to changing the law on this issue, I was saddened and depressed to be contacted by 999 workers all over the country sharing their experiences of being attacked whilst at work, some with devastating consequences.
“Whilst this has been a big team effort with a great deal of public and political support, it is rare for a backbench opposition MP to secure a law change, so I’m
delighted that this campaign has been a success. I’m proud to have support the many hard-working men and women who face serious assault and abuse simply for
doing their jobs trying to keep us all safe and well.
“I hope the new law will form a deterrent, and help bring about a cultural change, so that assaults are better reported and no longer considered just ‘part of the job’ for our emergency service workers.”
The new law has been supported by the Police Federation, the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, the Fire Bridges Union, and the GMB union.