New laws to protect our first responders

Released 22/10/2019

New offences targeting assaults against first responders and driving at police will better protect ACT police, firefighters and paramedics on the job.

The Crimes (Protection of Police, Firefighter and Paramedics) Amendment Bill 2019 was introduced into the Legislative Assembly today.

The new laws will be a strong deterrent against violence towards those who protect and care for Canberrans and will help ensure that offenders face appropriate consequences.

Police officers, firefighters and paramedics are required to step forward and face risks that others are expected step away from and these new laws reflect this vulnerability.

The frequency and severity of assaults against first responders has been a growing concern in the ACT. The ACT Government is committed to addressing this violence, which can have long lasting and devastating impacts on victims.

Creating a separate offence means that offenders’ criminal records will show that they assaulted a police officer, fire fighter or paramedic and supports the clear community expectation that these assaults are unacceptable.

These reforms also include new offences against driving at police officers or their vehicles to send a clear signal that those who ram police will be held to account and face higher penalties.

Specific offences against driving at police officers recognises the vulnerability our officers experience while carrying out their duties on our roads.

- Statement ends -

Section: Mick Gentleman, MLA | Media Releases

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