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Protect The Protectors - campaign goes on

The Police Federation of England and Wales has pledged to push on with its campaign for harsher sentencing of those found guilty of assaults on police officers and other emergency service workers, despite a minor setback.

A second reading of the bill to change legislation on these assaults was due to be read in the House of Commons on Friday 24 March. The bill has been championed by Holly Lynch, Labour MP for Halifax.

Calum Macleod, vice-chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, says in an update on the Protect The Protectors campaign: "We were realistic with our expectations regarding a second reading as we were number 42 on the list for that day. Even in exceptional circumstances, Holly Lynch herself said that she has never known more than four to be read. The reading did not take place and the bill was withdrawn."

Calum says with cross-party support for the changes being sought there may now be an opportunity to pursue a Private Members' Bill instead and that the Federation is determined to continue its campaign.

He says: "We will use every avenue available in order to see these tangible changes enacted. We will never accept that an assault on a police officer or other emergency service worker is 'just part of the job'. There needs to be better protections in place and we will do all we can to ensure that this happens. No excuses - those who assault a police officer need to face the full force of the law."

The campaign has also won the support of the British Transport Police Federation.