Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin backs tougher sentences for assaults on public servants

Lock up thugs who attack paramedics, fire fighters or police, says Dudley MP

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Dudley North MP Ian Austin will be in Parliament on Friday to make sure new measures to protect emergency service workers from assault move forward.

Austin has been supporting campaigns by trade unions like Unison, the Fire Brigades Union and the Police Federation who are pushing for special protection for paramedics, fire fighters and the police.

 He has been working with Dudley paramedic and local councillor Adam Aston who has twice been assaulted at work. 

New figures show firefighters in the West Midlands have been assaulted 67 occasions in just six months, an increase on previous years.

Nationally, attacks against police almost tripled in some parts of the UK over five years and new figures are also expected to show that assaults have increased in recent years. 

The new “Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill” – dubbed the “Protect the Protectors law” will give special protection for paramedics, nurses, firemen, police and other 999 staff who are abused, attacked or spat at while carrying out their work. It will mean such assaults are classed as “aggravated” when perpetrated against 999 workers in the exercise of their duty.

The new law will also to require suspects to provide samples of saliva and to make it an offence to refuse to provide such samples.

Ian Austin said:

“I’ve talked to Adam and to fire fighters and police officers who have been attacked at work. It is completely unacceptable and I’ll be in Parliament on Friday to make sure the new law goes forward.

“These are brave public servants working to help or protect the rest of us and they deserve our support.

“A group of Tory MPs almost always “talk out” new laws moved in what is called Private Members sessions so I and other Labour MPs are busy reorganising the constituency meetings we normally do on Fridays to be there.”

Adam Aston said:

"I am delighted Ian and his Labour colleagues will be supporting the Bill, there were over 100,439 physical assaults on Police, Fire and NHS staff recorded during 2015/16, so a change in the law is well overdue"

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