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Consultation launched on doubling maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker

August 2, 2020, 11:39:32 AM

GOV.UK

13 July 2020

Consultation launched on doubling maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker

Emergency workers

Anyone who assaults or attacks emergency workers could face longer jail terms, as consultation on doubling the maximum penalty for the offence is launched today.

In 2018 this Government changed the law (Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018) so that anyone found guilty of assaulting a police officer, firefighter, prison officer or paramedic faced a maximum of 12 months in prison. Judges must also consider tougher sentences for more serious offences – such as GBH or sexual assault – if the victim was an emergency worker.

Now the Government is seeking views from stakeholders, including representative bodies from the emergency services and the judiciary, on whether the maximum penalty should be doubled to two years behind bars.

It delivers on a manifesto commitment to consult on tougher sentences, with ministers determined to recognise the debt of gratitude the public feels towards our emergency workers – for the courage, commitment and dedication they show every day in carrying out their duties, including during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The consultation will run for four weeks and, depending on the response to the consultation, legislation could be brought forward – which would see the maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker doubled for the second time in two years.

Assault can cover acts such as a push, shove or being spat at. When an emergency worker is seriously injured, prosecutions will take place under more serious offences such as ABH, GBH, or attempted murder that have far longer sentences.



Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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