- Following an increase in the number of recorded assaults against emergency service workers; in particular, those carried out against Police Officers, Meriden MP, Dame Caroline Spelman is spearheading a Parliamentary campaign with cross-party West Midlands MPs to strengthen the law.
- In the past week three police officers were assaulted by an offender who repeatedly kicked and bit at them whilst responding to an incident in Shirley and a female officer had her hair torn out by an assailant whom she was trying to arrest following a domestic incident in Wolverhampton.
Dame Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden has submitted a Parliamentary Motion calling on the Government to undertake ‘urgent action’ to strengthen penalties for offenders who assault on-duty emergency service workers.
Alongside the Early Day Motion, the MP also appealed to cross party MPs from across the region to write to the Home Secretary to declare their support the principles of the draft ‘Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences)’ Bill, which is sponsored by Labour’s Chris Bryant.
In the West Midlands region alone, 669 assaults were recorded against officers from West Midlands Police between April and December 2017 and a 525 verbal assaults and 362 physical assaults were carried out against local ambulance crews between April 2016 and April 2017. Statistics also show that on average 75 assaults on fire fighters are recorded in our region each year.
In a letter to West Midlands MPs, Dame Caroline said, “I am sure that many of you will have seen the recent news reports in which a female Police officer was violently assaulted and had her hair ripped out whilst making an arrest following a domestic incident at a house in Wolverhampton. Whilst this attack serves a poignant reminder of the significant risks that all front-line emergency service workers face in the line of duty, the fact remains that this shocking incident is only out of thousands of attacks that are perpetrated against staff working in our emergency services each year.
“This is a wholly unacceptable situation”.
She encouraged cross party West Midlands MPs to demonstrate “united support for our local emergency services and help change the law as it currently stands to try to prevent future such instances” adding, “legislation to enhance protections for front line emergency service workers must be introduced at the earliest opportunity”.
You can view the EDM here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/790