Tougher penalties for people who attack police

PEOPLE who attack police or emergency workers while they are carrying out their duties will face tough new sentences under legislation introduced to Parliament this week.

The increased sentences will apply to people who attack workers including police, ambulance officers, fire-fighters, protective services officers, SES workers or lifesavers, as well as nurses, doctors or other staff in hospitals who provide or support emergency treatment.

Premier Denis Napthine said people who intentionally inflict serious injuries on police or emergency workers could expect to spend at least three years behind bars.

 “If gross violence is involved, attackers will face a minimum of five years in jail, while those who murder a police officer or emergency worker will be subject to a baseline sentence carrying a 30 year jail term," he said.

 “Attacks causing other injuries will incur at least six months in jail.”

The minimum penalties will form part of the offender’s minimum non-parole period, and will apply unless the offender can demonstrate there is a genuinely ‘special reason’ in limited and carefully defined circumstances, such as co-operation with law enforcement authorities or proven mental impairment.

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