Barnsley MP backs assault crackdown

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A South Yorkshire MP is helping spearhead new measures, to bring in tougher sentences for thugs who assault police.

Michael Dugher, Barnsley East MP, is backing proposed legislation that would introduce tougher custodial terms for criminals who assault police and other members of the emergency services.

Mr Dugher is co-sponsoring Halifax Labour MP Holly Lynch’s Crime Bill in the House of Commons next week, to make such offences ‘aggravated’ crimes that would attract tougher penalties.

The new law would see harsher sentences imposed on offenders who assault police and emergency services personnel after criticism that fines and suspended sentences have proved an insufficient deterrent.

The move comes after a rising number of attacks on police in Barnsley. According to South Yorkshire Police, there were 27 assaults on officers in Barnsley’s policing districts in 2015 – up from 19 assaults in 2014. But, in the just the first nine months of 2016, the number of assaults soared to 31 – already significantly higher than the whole of 2015.

There were an estimated 23,000 assaults on police across all forces nationwide, including almost 8,000 assaults in which officers were injured.

Mr Dugher, who is also supporting a campaign calling for better protection for police officers - said: “I’m proud to be co-sponsoring a Bill in Parliament to change the law and which would introduce tougher sentences for thugs who assault police and other members of the emergency services.

“Our brave police force do a magnificent job serving the public and they literally put their lives on the line to protect us. It’s totally unacceptable these police are facing a rising number of assaults.”

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