WITH assaults on paramedics reaching a record high, the Canberra Liberals have today (October 21) proposed reforms to “better” protect frontline community service providers in the ACT.
Under the Canberra Liberals’ reforms, the emergency services shadow minister Giulia Jones says certain offences causing harm will be elevated to aggravated offences if they are committed against a frontline community service provider while performing their duties, increasing the maximum available penalties for these attacks.
The proposed “Crimes (Offences Against Frontline Community Service Providers) Amendment Bill 2019” would also create three new standalone offences including assaulting a frontline community service provider, with a maximum penalty of five years, use of a motor vehicle to endanger a police officer or other frontline community service provider, with a maximum penalty of 15 years, and use of a motor vehicle to damage a police vehicle or other frontline community service provider vehicle, with a maximum penalty of five years.
“This bill is about our parliament backing up our uniformed personnel,” says Ms Jones.
“Beyond the physical hurt, frontline workers who are attacked in the line of duty often experience ongoing stress and trauma. That trauma can be made worse when perpetrators are effectively let off the hook.
“Attacks on frontline community service providers should never be tolerated. If passed, these new laws will ensure that would-be aggressors understand there are serious penalties for attacking those who serve our community. Tougher penalties for these attacks will help to deter would-be aggressors.
“Nurses, police officers, paramedics and other frontline workers are putting the community first each and every time they wear their uniform. As lawmakers, it’s our job to ensure that this support is returned.”
The “Crimes (Offences Against Frontline Community Service Providers) Amendment Bill 2019” will be tabled in the ACT Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, October 23.