Bob Seely supports tougher sentences for emergency service attackers

Tougher prison sentences for those who attack emergency service personnel have been welcomed by Island MP Bob Seely in the wake of a mass prison officer walk out. 

Prison officers staged a national protest against working conditions on Friday (September 14), demanding tougher sentences for those who assault prison workers and a tougher stance on drugs and gang activity within HMP walls.

Mr Seely has says he has since supported the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill which gained Royal Assent last week and will come into force in November.

It means that those who assault workers like police officers, paramedics, prison officers, NHS staff and firefighters will see their sentences double from six months to a year.

Staff stood outside HMP Isle of Wight

Even those who are helping emergency workers will receive greater protection and judges can now also hand down tougher sentences for more serious offences such as grievous bodily harm and sexual assault if an emergency worker was the victim.

“This new law is overdue and will do much to help protect our emergency workers who are serving their communities with so much distinction,” said Mr Seely.

“This legislation also had strong cross-party support and I’m pleased it has been strengthened further to make sure the unacceptable rising tide of attacks against emergency staff is tackled.”

There has been an increase in assaults on emergency workers in recent years with 26,000 assaults on police officers in the past year and over 17,000 on NHS staff.

Assaults on prison officers rose by 70% in the three years to 2017, with an 18% increase experienced by firefighters in the past two years too, according to government figures.