Officer assaults: maximum sentence to be doubled


PUBLISHED 16 Sep 2020

IN News

The Government has agreed to fast-track an increase in maximum jail sentences for assaults on police officers.

The Police Federation has campaigned extensively for longer sentences for assaults on all emergency workers and the new law will double the maximum term from 12 months to two years.

Cambridgeshire chair Liz Groom has welcomed the move: “This is what our Protect the Protectors lobbying has been all about.  Attacks on our officers and our blue light colleagues are totally unacceptable so I hope the increase in sentencing sends that message to those individuals who think it’s okay.

“We need the courts to hand out the toughest possible sentences to reverse the current concerning trend of a rising number of assaults on emergency service workers.”

More than 11,000 people were prosecuted for assaulting an emergency worker in 2019, according to Ministry of Justice statistics.

This latest change in the law will be the second in two years after the 2018 Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act increased the maximum sentence from six months to a year.

The new law will mean that when a person is convicted of offences – including sexual assault or manslaughter – a judge must consider whether an offence against an emergency worker merits an increase in the sentence.