Harsher penalties for attacks on police
Thu, 13 Sep 2012 8:35a.m.
Judges have been given powers to hand down stiffer sentences on people who assault police or prison officers.
The new law passed by Parliament late Wednesday night also covers attacks on firefighters, paramedics, doctors and nurses while they are attending emergencies.
Justice Minister Judith Collins' bill makes assaults on those officers and emergency workers an aggravating factor in sentencing.
"It means every judge must consider the fact that an assault on them is an aggravating factor when sentencing the offender," she told parliament.
"At present there is no requirement on the court to take special notice of that."
Ms Collins said they all worked in dangerous situations and the government recognised they needed special protection.
In its original form the bill only applied to police and corrections officers and it was a Labour Party amendment, accepted by the government, that extended it to emergency workers.
The bill passed its third reading on a vote of 117 to four.
The Maori Party and the Mana Party voted against it. MPs from those parties didn't speak during the third reading debate.
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20/09/2012 4:33:07 p.m.
Anthony Millar wrote:
Why is there so many court cases that people just get let off with nothing it just wastes time and resources. If your going to have a law stick to it and everyone should be governed by that law. If the penalty is 6 months in prison make it six months in prison the problem with our justice system is there not fixing the real problems. How can a director lose 24 million dollars and get home detention how can a killer get three years for mans slaughter non of this makes sense at all..The person who lost 24 million is a lot more of a risk than a teenager who steals a lipstick but yet the teenager gets 160 hours of community service and someone who loses 24 million gets 300 hours it’s a load of rubbish.That lady should have the next 10 years of her life on community service until her debt is repaid.. Would my bank cut me any slack if I didn’t pay my mortgage of course not they would kick me to the curb..All rules should be in place for everyone – Cannabis should be decimalised and NZ should become the Amsterdam of the south pacific police should focus on Assaults/P manufacture/Domestic Violence/Attacks on the elderly/Burglaries/ Drink driving and Company fraud.. They money they would recoup on company fraud would pay the bills for ages 24 million dollars speaks for itself..
19/09/2012 9:46:32 p.m.
Police have enough Power already!(more than a member of the public) Assault is Assault.The problem with giving extra rights to certain individuals is that it erodes the rights of others & is prone to abuse.
17/09/2012 3:17:41 p.m.
I am shocked that the Maori Party and Mana Party voted against the Bill.
I would love to hear their reasons.
13/09/2012 4:34:58 p.m.
Police are held to a higher standard when they do something wrong often with harsher sentences being imposed. When a shooting occurs where an officer has shot someone then there are five independant investigations where as if say you Jan shot someone in self defence then there is one investigation (Criminal) being launched!
Judges for a long time when dealing with offenders charged with assault on Police often pass a lenient sentence or a convict and discharge for an assault which teaches the offender nothing and next time they simply assault police again! Judges often believe its an occupational hazard for officers to be routinely assaulted which just simply isn't right.
By way of passing this law which incudes ALL emergency staff as assaults on Ambulance staff, Doctors and Fireman have increased puts a mitigating factor upon sentence where the offender can't simply be convicted and discharged which in hope will ensue that assaults on Police and ALL emergency services for that matters will fall.
13/09/2012 9:39:10 a.m.
What makes Police more special than *regular* people? Assault is Assault. If Police are to be *privileged* in such a way that assault on a Police Officer is worthy of harsher punishment than assault on a regular citizen, then surely it should also go the other way - if a Police Officer commits a crime, they should be held to a higher standard and receive a harsher punishment than a regular citizen, in recognition of their breach of the public trust.
13/09/2012 9:32:14 a.m.
Wow, 2 legs good 4 legs bad. You don't need a special law, the judges should have common sense to give a penalty should the need arise. When will there be a special law to prosecute eg police when they kill someone in custody or if they kill the perpertrator or bystander during a police chase?.They don't need a law to protect them. I do understand why due to dickheads who cause trouble when their mate is being helped when vomiting, but a "special law" thats bullshit the police have the powers now to arrest anyone who interferes or attacks ANYONE.
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