Our hard-working emergency services workers have it tough enough protecting the community. They don’t need the added worry of being physically attacked on the job and being treated like a punching bag.
The increasing number of violent incidents is a real concern and it’s clear that strong action is needed to protect those who protect us. Labor’s softly, softly approach is failing frontline emergency workers.
Statistics released by Paramedics Australia indicate physical attacks on members across Queensland have increased by almost 20 per cent compared to five years ago. In the first four months of 2017 alone, 176 ambulance officers were assaulted state-wide.
There have been repeated calls to strengthen penalties and deter acts of violence, but Labor has refused to listen. A public awareness campaign is not the only solution.
In government, the LNP increased a range of penalties to strengthen deterrents and protect victims against crime.
The maximum penalty for serious assault on a police officer was doubled from seven years to 14 years and this was also extended to public officers, which included other frontline emergency services workers.
We also introduced mandatory penalties for serious assault of a police officer if committed by a criminal gang member.
While strong penalties are not the only deterrent, they are important in re-enforcing the message that it is not acceptable to assault our hard working emergency services workers.
OUR REAL PLAN
A Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will follow the lead of other states and territories and introduce minimum penalties for serious assaults on our frontline emergency services workers.
Someone convicted of serious assault of an emergency services worker will be sentenced to a minimum of seven days’ jail.
This will apply to offences against our hard-working police, paramedics and firefighters who are on the front line of protecting the community from harm in the case of an emergency.
Only the LNP has the experience, energy and track record of standing up for victims of crime and ensuring strong penalties act as a deterrent and protect Queenslanders from violence.
We will also create a new offence under the Ambulance Service Act 1991 of assaulting or obstructing a paramedic or other authorised officer, similar to the existing offence for police officers.