Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, says an LNP Government will get tougher on offenders by introducing minimum penalties for serious assaults on frontline emergency services workers.

Mr Cripps said the LNP policy would mean someone convicted of serious assault of an emergency services worker would be sentenced to a minimum period of incarceration for their crime.

“This is serious – figures released by Paramedics Australia indicate attacks on paramedics across Queensland have increased by almost 20 per cent compared to five years ago” said Mr Cripps.

“In the first four months of 2017, 176 ambulance officers were assaulted state-wide, with 20 of those attacks taking place in the Townsville region and 19 attacks in the Cairns region” he said.

“Prior to that, I think North Queenslanders would be shocked to know that in 2015-16, 26 paramedics were assaulted in the Townsville region and 22 attacks occurred in the Cairns region”.

“Our hard-working emergency services workers protect our local communities – the last thing they need is to be confronted with the risk of being physically attacked while they are on the job”.

Mr Cripps said the former LNP Government increased a range of penalties to strengthen deterrents and protect victims of crime, including maximum penalties for serious assaults on police officers.

“The LNP listened to the community – doubling maximum penalties from seven years to 14 years, which was extended to public officers, including other frontline emergency services workers”.

“This new policy will apply to offences against our hard-working police, paramedics and firefighters who are on the front line of protecting the community from harm in the case of an emergency”.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s soft-on-crime policies have meant that repeated calls to strengthen penalties and deter these acts of violence have not been effectively responded to”.

“While strong penalties are not the only deterrent or solution, they are important in re-enforcing the message that it is not acceptable to assault our hard working emergency services workers”.

Mr Cripps said the LNP had the experience and track record of standing up for victims of crime and delivering tougher laws and stronger penalties to protect Queenslanders from violence.

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