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Violent assault on paramedic 'highlights need for law change'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling.

"Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station," says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball.

"Harsher penalties for perpetrators behind this kind of sad event is exactly what my Member’s Bill is calling for.

"The Protection for First Responders and Prison Officers Bill’ creates a new offence of "injuring a first responder or prison officer with intent to injure", which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of six months’ imprisonment.

"St John have again voiced their support for this law change following this despicable assault," said Mr Ball.

The Bill covers police, ambulance, fire and corrections officers.

First Responders operate in high risk, urgent, and potentially life threatening situations. It is our responsibility to ensure they are safe when doing their job.

There are more than 50 cases of abuse and assault against New Zealand paramedics each week.

In August 2019 there were more than 200 serious assaults paramedics alone.

The ‘Protection for First Responders and Prison Officers Bill’ passed its first reading late last year.

The Justice Select Committee has opened submissions until 12 February 2020 and we encourage all stakeholders to submit on this important legislation.

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