Maximum jail term for attacking emergency workers to be doubled

The Ministry of Justice has announced that the maximum penalty for assaulting frontline health workers is to be doubled from one to two years.

Following a consultation on raising punishments, the announcement forms part of a wider series of reforms to sentencing. The law change will offer greater protection to emergency workers, covering nurses and frontline health workers, as well as police, prison officers, custody officers, fire service personnel, and search and rescue services.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said: “The debt of gratitude we owe to our emergency workers has never been greater. Every day they risk their lives to protect ours – they should never face being punched, kicked or spat at. Anyone looking to harm prison officers, police, fire personnel or health workers should be under no illusion – your disgraceful behaviour is unacceptable and you will feel the full force of the law.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Our police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers are our frontline heroes who put their lives on the line every single day to keep us safe, yet some despicable individuals still think it’s acceptable to attack, cough or spit at these courageous public servants. This new law sends a clear and simple message to these vile thugs – you will not get away with such appalling behaviour and you will be subject to the force of the law.”

Event Diary

Following the 2017 Naylor Report into NHS estates, it has been estimated that estate upkeep costs have reached approximately £10bn in annual funding for 2019/2020.

More recently, ERIC (Estates Returns Information Collection) data collection has contained some deeply alarming news about the condition of NHS buildings and equipment.