The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Sentencing Council launched a consultation in April in relation to Assault Offences and as this consultation includes questions regarding Assaults on Emergency Workers we wanted to ensure NAHS Members had the opportunity to comment.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Sentencing Council has produced this consultation paper in order to seek views from as many people as possible interested in the sentencing of assault offences.
However, it is important to clarify that the Council is consulting on sentencing guidelines for these offences and not the legislation upon which such offences are based. The relevant legislation is a matter for Parliament and is, therefore, outside the scope of this exercise.
Through this consultation process, the Council is seeking views on:
- The principal factors that make any of the offences included within the draft guidelines more or less serious;
- The additional factors that should influence the sentence;
- The approach taken to structuring the draft guidelines;
- The types and lengths of sentence that should be passed;
differences between the current guidelines and these new, revised guidelines; and
- Anything else you think should be considered.
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.
Justice Secretary & Lord Chancellor, Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC MP, said:
Being punched, kicked or spat at should never be part of the job for our valiant emergency workers who put their lives on the line to keep the public safe.
The Consultation guidance and main document has also been uploaded to the NAHS Library and is available here.
Please take the time to take part in this vitally important consultation as those that assault an Emergency Worker and especially assaults on Healthcare professionals who are usually trying to care for them need to be addressed and shown consequence for their actions.
Please direct any questions to email@example.com