UNION

'Not enough' being done to protect emergency workers

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07 Jan 2020
Press Office

Press Office

More offenders who assault emergency service workers need to be brought to justice, says GMB Union. 

The Crown Prosecution Service today said 20,000 offenders were charged between November 2018 and November 2019 under the landmark 'Protect the Protectors' legislation, which was passed following a long campaign by unions including GMB. 

According to a recent GMB survey of ambulance workers, only 3.4 per cent said that the risk of violence had reduced since the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act was put into force.


The legislation made it a specific offence to commit a common assault against an emergency worker. It is also now an aggravating factor for sentencing purposes when an emergency worker is a victim of other types of assault. 

Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary, said:

“Every prosecution is a small victory but not enough is being done to protect our public service heroes.

 

Ambulance

NHS

Total

Don't know

22.3

56.8

41.1

No

74.2

38.6

54.8

Yes

3.4

4.6

4.1

“No one should go to work in fear of violence and abuse. It's time to give our heroic emergency workers the protection they deserve. 

“Having secured the passage of this landmark legislation, much more must now be done to secure closer working between employers and agencies to ensure that more prosecutions are brought and offenders held to account.”

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