Assaults on emergency workers 'will not be tolerated'

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Wales will not tolerate assaults on emergency workers, That's according to Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, ahead of a Senedd debate on new UK legislation to better protect emergency workers.

The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill was introduced in UK Parliament to provide additional protection to emergency workers. In its current draft it will apply to both England and Wales.

The Bill will strengthen the current law by deeming assaults on emergency workers while carrying out their duty an aggravated assault, with the maximum penalty for this offence increasing from six months to 12.

The Bill will also extend police powers to take blood samples with consent, and non-intimate samples without consent, from individuals who assault emergency workers where Inspectors have sufficient grounds to believe an emergency worker has been exposed to risk of an infectious disease.

Assembly Members will need to agree for a Legislative Consent Memorandum to be laid in the Senedd.

It is shocking to hear continued reports of emergency workers being attacked both physically and verbally while simply doing their jobs, trying to keep us all safe and well. This Bill is part of dealing with this.

Vaughan Gething AM, Health Secretary