Paul Frew DUP MLA for North Antrim has made an amendment to the Justice No 2 bill currently going through the Assembly that would mean attacks on ambulance staff would meet the same level of penalty as an attack on a police officer or firefighter.
Frew stated: “We have the police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998 and the Fire and Rescue Services (Northern Ireland) Order which means that if you attack either of these personel the penalty available for the offence is 6 months imprisonment or a maximum fine of £5000 (or both) on summary conviction or 2 years imprisionment or an unlimited fine (or both) on conviction on indictment.
“It is important that those people who put themselves in danger and risk to protect us are themselves protected by the law. I believe that ambulance staff need that same protection as they work alongside PSNI and firefighters on many ocasions but also on their own remote from the hospital environment.
“I condemn all attacks on ambulance staff and I am deeply saddened by the assault that happened in my own constituency in Ballycastle.”