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UK: Jail time to double for assaulting an emergency worker

Staff Writer |
Individuals who assault or attack emergency workers face longer jail terms as a new law backed by government receives Royal Assent.

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A new offence will double the maximum sentence from 6 to 12 months in prison for assaulting an emergency worker. This covers police, prison officers, custody officers, fire service personnel, search and rescue services and paramedics.

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.

Ministers have acted to recognise the debt of gratitude the public feels towards our emergency services, and for the courage, commitment and dedication they show every day in carrying out their duties.

There is already a specific offence for assaulting a police officer, but for the first time similar protection will be extended to anyone carrying out the work of an emergency service. The law also provides extra protection to unpaid volunteers who support the delivery of emergency services.

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