Online petition calls for better protection for emergency service workers
Leicestershire Police Federation is urging people to sign an online petition calling for improved protection for police officers and other emergency service workers.
The petition is being launched today by the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) to coincide with Day 1 of the Emergency Services Show in Birmingham. It aims to show how much support there is for emergency service workers as part of the Federation's Protect the Protectors campaign.
The campaign is pushing for a change in legislation to impose tougher sentences on those who assault an emergency service worker. It is hoped that this will act as a stronger deterrent in light of a currently unaccepted level of violence as it is estimated that an assault on a police officer takes place every four minutes.
"We hope that as many people as possible will get behind us and sign the petition, particularly since a Private Members' Bill calling for better legal and practical protections for police officers and other emergency service workers is currently making its way through Parliament," says Tiff Lynch, chairman of Leicestershire Police Federation.
"We have written to all Leicestershire MPs asking them to support the police service by supporting the bill. If members of the public sign the online petition perhaps our MPs will feel compelled to speak out in support of us."
The issue has already been discussed in the House of Commons via a Private Members' Bill, raised by Chris Bryant MP. A second reading of the Bill is due to take place on 20 October.
Mr Bryant says that assaults on the people we rely on most "is plain unacceptable and we politicians must do everything in our power to try and curb this spiral of violence against emergency workers".
Mr Bryant went on to say: "I hope this won't mean lots more people will go to prison, but that people will think long and hard before attacking an emergency worker. We have to stop the violence. We have to protect the protectors. Write to your MP to tell them to be in Parliament on 20 October to back our Bill."
Calum Macleod, vice chair of PFEW, will be presenting the campaign at the Emergency Services Show tomorrow (Thursday). He said: "The change that we are asking for will really make a difference, not only for police officers, but also for our emergency service colleagues who are out there doing a very tough job in extremely difficult circumstances.
"These are the people we all rely on and they deserve our support and a change in the law so that they are better protected. By taking the campaign to the Emergency Services Show we can spread the word with a view to working more collaboratively with our blue light colleagues to effect the change that is so badly needed."
You can sign the petition here.