New Zealand First is calling for the introduction of laws imposing mandatory jail terms on anyone assaulting emergency service workers such as police, ambulance and fire officers.
Rt Hon Winston Peters says the recent spate of savage attacks on police officers shows that new laws are urgently required.
“Anyone found guilty of hitting or attacking a public officer should be automatically sentenced to a six month jail term.
“A similar policy was adopted in Western Australia where assaults on public officers have fallen 40 per cent.”
Mr Peters says the proposed legislation is a no-nonsense approach that will ease the call to arm all New Zealand police officers.
“The reality in Australia is that armed police are also beaten up by thugs because the courts see it as unreasonable to shoot dead someone armed with only their fists.
“But our proposed legislation would have no discretion. Assault an emergency service worker in New Zealand and you will go to jail.
“Our frontline officers deserve this extra protection while undertaking essential and sometimes dangerous work,” says Mr Peters.