Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has expressed his support for a potential new law that would offer more protection for police, firefighters and NHS workers across the community.
The proposed new law has been proposed by Labour MP, Chris Bryant, which for the first time would make it an aggravated offence to attack an emergency worker.
Specifically, the Bill would make offences including malicious wounding, grievous or actual bodily harm and common assault aggravated when perpetrated against a constable, firefighter, doctor, paramedic, nurse or people assisting these professions in the execution of their duty. Gwynne has given his full support for the new law being proposed by the MP for Rhondda, which for the first time would make it an aggravated offence to attack an emergency worker.
Statistics on the numbers of attacks on emergency workers are stark with an estimated 23,000 Police Officers assaulted across England and Wales last year as well as 218 reported attacks on NHS staff at Tameside and Stockport NHS Trusts alone. This law aims to help deter people from assaulting the workers who protect our public on a daily basis, and to ensure those that do face tough sanctions.
The new law has support from the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, the Fire Bridges Union, the Police Federation, The British Transport Police and the GMB union. It comes after Chris Bryant MP came top of the ballot for ‘Private Members Bills’ in Parliament, a mechanism that allows an MP to put forward a proposal to be debated in parliament and potentially made into law. After opening a public vote on which issue to put forward, Mr Bryant went with the majority winner which was this Bill to stop attacks on emergency workers.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“I’m backing the bill to protect our protectors because it’s absolutely unacceptable that the hard-working men and women across Denton and Reddish’s NHS, Fire and Police services face serious assault and abuse simply for doing their jobs trying to keep us all safe and well.
“Any assault on emergency workers is unacceptable, and it’s about time the law reflected the seriousness of attacks on people working for the public good. Society owes a debt of thanks to our emergency workers, so Parliament now needs to give them the support and protection they need; that’s why I’ll be supporting the Bill on the 20th October.”
Chris Bryant said:
“I’m taking forward this Bill after hearing of the literally thousands of horrifying attacks on our emergency workers every year. No one should be attacked just for doing their job, let alone when that job is putting themselves on the line for the public good.
“Passing this Bill will send a clear message that we will not tolerate violence and abuse towards those who protect us, and it will hopefully help stem the tide of this worrying trend of assaults towards them.”