NSW Inquiry into Violence Against Emergency Services Personnel

Wednesday 13 July 2016 @ 10.45 a.m. | Crime

The New South Wales Government launched an inquiry into violence against emergency services personnel back in May 2016. The Chair of the Legislative Assembly Committee on Law and Safety, Mr Geoff Provest MP, announced the inquiry and expressed his concern that a number of serious assaults have taken place against NSW emergency services personnel in the line of duty. The inquiry is currently receiving submissions from the public and is set to close on 22 July.

Terms of Reference

The Committee will inquire into the extent of the current problem and investigate the adequacy of current measures in place to address the problem. According to the media release issued by the Legislative Assembly Committee on Law and Safety, the inquiry will specifically look at:

  • The adequacy of current measures to protect emergency services personnel against violence (such as internal policies and procedures regarding such incidents, as well as any training or public education campaigns);
  • Whether penalties and sentences currently in place for people who assault or murder emergency services personnel are effective and deterring such behaviour; and
  • Any possible law reform measures as well as any other related matters.

Mr Provest stated clearly that the inquiry will have regard to all emergency services personnel including police officers, ambulance officers, firefighters, protective services officers, SES workers, lifesavers, marine rescuers, as well as nurses, doctors and any other hospital staff who provide emergency support or treatment. The inquiry will also examine any relevant pattern in criminal behaviour towards these personnel as well as consider the experience of other jurisdictions relating to this issue.

Mr Provest highlighted this as a chief concern saying:

“The Committee shares my concern that anyone would see fit to assault an emergency worker. These people perform invaluable work keeping our community safe and deserve to be treated with the utmost respect”.

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