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Convictions down on emergency worker attackers

The conviction rate of people who have attacked emergency workers has gone down according to new figures from the Scottish Conservatives.

Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary will raise this as part of his debate in the Scottish Parliament later today, commending the bravery of emergency workers and condemning their attackers.

Almost 6,000 charges were reported to the Crown Office of the Procurator Fiscal Scotland (COPFS) for attacking emergency workers, including Police, in 2017-18, a very slight increase from the year before, according to a freedom of Information response.

However, over the same period convictions for those who attacked emergency staff have decreased by 530 to 2,790.

As a result only 47 per cent of reports over this period led to a conviction, down by almost 10 percent from 56 per cent in 2016-17.

Mr Kerr will express utter dismay at the high level of continuing attacks against our emergency staff and will call for greater protection for emergency workers and tougher sentencing for those who attack them.

The figures also show that charges proceeded with in court have also increased from 5,502 to 5,528, and charges proceeded with a direct measure have also increased slightly from 246 to 310.

Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary said;

“It beggars belief that people would attack our emergency workers, and it must stop.

“It’s clear that we have not yet tackled this problem effectively.

“We must demonstrate our support for our emergency workers by catching, convicting and punishing those who do them harm.

“The Scottish Conservative have published our initial proposals to support emergency workers and to keep them safe.

“Our emergency workers perform vital jobs in our society, in the toughest of situations. We owe them our thanks.”



Notes to editors:

The full freedom of information response is attached

The text of the motion to be debated is here –

Liam Kerr S5M-14497 - Emergency Service Workers

That the Parliament commends the bravery and dedication of emergency service workers in the north east and across the country; recognises what it sees as their extraordinary efforts to keep everyone safe, working long hours in often difficult circumstances; acknowledges that this can include heading towards danger when others are running away; understands that, in 2016-17, over 3,000 offences were committed against these workers, with attacks often carried out by the very people that they were trying to help; condemns such assaults; regards an attack on any emergency worker as an attack on society itself, and thanks all emergency workers with the police, fire, ambulance, search and rescue, prison and other services for all the work that they do.

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