Confirmation by Justice Minister Judith Collins that the same legal standard should apply to on-the-job assaults against all emergency first responders, not just a select few, will ease the concerns of many working on the front line, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Charles Chauvel says.
Ms Collins confirmed there should be no discrimination in an answer to a question in the House today about the Sentencing (Aggravating Factors) Amendment Bill.
“While the Amendment Bill directs the courts to treat an assault on a police or corrections officer as particularly serious, it does not make it clear that the same protections would be available to other emergency first responders such as fire fighters and ambulance officers,” Charles Chauvel said.
“Labour believes that because those people may also find themselves in particularly difficult situations while undertaking their legal duties, they should also be recognised.
“I have proposed an amendment to that effect, and for the procedural motion that would allow it to be voted on when Parliament next debates the bill.
"I would have preferred the matter to have been made clear in the Bill from the outset, and I look forward to support from the Government when the legislation comes back to the vote,” Charles Chauvel said.