Until now the only specific offence has been that of assaulting a police officer. This is a summary only offence which carries a maximum of 6 months imprisonment.
A new law has been passed which will create a new category of common assault - assaulting an emergency worker in the exercise of their functions. The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill comes into force in November.
This means that from November anyone who assaults or attacks an emergency worker will face longer jail terms.
Individuals who assault or attack emergency workers face longer jail terms as the new law backed by government received Royal Assent on September 13th 2018.
Who will this Bill cover?
“emergency worker” means—
(a) a constable;
(b) a person (other than a constable) who has the powers of a constable or is otherwise employed for police purposes or is engaged to provide services for police purposes;
(c) a National Crime Agency officer;
(d) a prison officer;
(e) a person (other than a prison officer) employed or engaged to carry out functions in a custodial institution of a corresponding kind to those carried out by a prison officer;
(f) a prisoner custody officer, so far as relating to the exercise of escort functions;
(g) a custody officer, so far as relating to the exercise of escort functions;
(h) a person employed for the purposes of providing, or engaged to provide, fire services or fire and rescue services;
(i) a person employed for the purposes of providing, or engaged to provide, search services or rescue services (or both);
(j) a person employed for the purposes of providing, or engaged to provide—
(i) NHS health services, or
(ii) services in the support of the provision of NHS health services, and whose general activities in doing so involve face to face interaction with individuals receiving the services or with other members of the public.
It is irrelevant whether the employment or engagement is paid or unpaid.
What is the penalty?
The new offence will double the maximum sentence from 6 to 12 months imprisonment.
The new law will also mean that judges must consider tougher sentences for a range of other offences - including GBH and sexual assault - if the victim is an emergency worker.
How we can Help?
Here at Emery Johnson Astills we specialise in Criminal Defence and can attend police stations 24 hours a day. Furthermore, we attend both Magistrates and Crown Court, with our own expert Solicitor Advocates being able to conduct Crown Court matters.
If you therefore find yourself suspected of this or any other serious or violent offence please give a member of the Criminal Defence Team a call on 01162554855 or 01509610312 or email us on email@example.com for expert advice.
With offices in Leicester and Loughborough we are able to attend at the police station, whether an interview is conducted voluntarily or under arrest.
For more information on the members of the Crime Team at Emery Johnson Astills please visit our people page.