Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Criminal Justice (Public Order) (Amendment) Bill 2019: First Stage
That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to provide for a mandatory prison sentence in respect of an assault on a member of the emergency services; to provide for the introduction of an offence of ramming an emergency services vehicle and to provide for a mandatory prison sentence in respect of such an offence, and for that purpose to amend the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994 and to provide for related matters.
The purpose of the Bill is to provide for a mandatory prison sentence in respect of an assault on a member of the emergency services in the course of his or her duty. It includes assaults on medical staff. In the ten years between 2008 and 2018 there were 7,500 reported assaults on nurses. There were 1,267 assaults on members of An Garda Síochána in the four years between 2012 and 2016. The legislation also seeks to extends the provisions to fire service personnel and paramedics. It is time we made a statement that emergency workers need to be protected. That is the purpose of the Bill.