Major campaign needed to get assaults Bill through Parliament
Officers have been asked to urge their local MPs to help bring the re-launched campaign for better protections for emergency workers into law.
Officers have been asked to urge their local MPs to help bring the re-launched campaign for better protections for emergency workers into law. Rhondda MP Chris Bryant has adopted the proposed Assault on Emergency Staff Bill after topping a shortlist of backbench MPs given the chance to bring ideas before Parliament. Mr Bryant asked the public which bill it would prefer him to take forward and nearly a third of the 33,900 respondents voted for protecting police, fire and medical workers. The campaign has already secured support from across the Labour Party and several Conservative MPs have told Mr Bryant they will help the proposed legislation through the House of Commons when it is debated in October. He takes over the campaign from Halifax MP Holly Lynch, whose attempt to introduce the Bill earlier this year ran out of time. Mr Bryant told Police Professional: We are going to have to make this a major campaign if we are to make sure that it ends up on the statute book. This wont just happen because everyone thinks its a good idea, were going to have to campaign to make it happen. I am intending to spend quite a lot of time with a variety of different emergency workers. I want to get every police officer writing to their MP to make sure they turn up on October 20. Nearly 10,800 people asked Mr Bryant to support the Assault on Emergency Staff Bill, ahead of other options like marriage equality and setting targets for sugar levels in food. If passed, the Bill would make assaulting emergency workers in the execution of their duty an aggravated offence. It would also introduce mandatory blood testing for anyone who spits at police officers and their blue-light colleagues. Just 20 Private Members Bills are heard in Parliament each year with MPs at the top of the list guaranteed a slot. Although Ms Lynch secured the 20th place on this list, she asked Mr Bryant to adopt the Bill to guarantee a debate. Mr Bryant will meet with Policing Minister Nick Hurd on Monday (July 17) to further discuss the terms of the Bill. The change in legislation has been championed by the Police Federation for England and Wales (PFEW), which thanked Mr Bryant for agreeing to take it on. PFEW vice-chair Calum Mcleod said it represents a significant step forward for our campaign and for our campaign for emergency service workers throughout the country. He added: We hope that the Bill will be widely supported by MPs across the House and result in the necessary changes in legislation to better protect the protectors.