North Yorkshire candidate calls for Harper’s Law after 'rising number of assaults on police' locally
The Labour Party candidate in North Yorkshire's forthcoming Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner elections is calling on the Government to back the introduction of Harper’s Law, proposed after police officer PC Andrew Harper was dragged to his death.
Alison Hume made the plea after it was revealed that one emergency worker every day is attacked in North Yorkshire.
The latest police statistics for North Yorkshire Police show that in the last month, 36 arrests have been made following assaults on emergency service personnel.
They include punches, kicks, biting, assaults with a weapon and spitting on police, fire and ambulance workers.
Over the past six months, the number of such attacks recorded in the county has risen by 45 per cent compared to the same period last year.
Ms Hume said: “This is utterly shocking and totally unacceptable.
“Our emergency workers should not be exposed to this terror every time they go to work.
"There need to be greater penalties to deter people from lashing out at our blue light workers.”
Ms Hume is backing Harper's Law, where anyone guilty of causing the death of an emergency worker whilst committing a crime would be sentenced to a life jail term.
The law was proposed by Lissie Harpey, the widow of Andrew Harper, a police officer who was dragged to his death by a getaway car driven by teenagers.
His killers were cleared of murder, and received sentences of between 13 and 16 years for PC Andrew Harper's manslaughter.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners are elected every four years.
The last election in North Yorkshire was held in May 2016 and the next one is scheduled for May 6, this year, having been postponed last year during the pandemic.
Ms Hume said: “We have to do more to protect our protectors.
“They have to know when they go to work that we have their backs, just like they have ours.
"We have to send out a message that there is zero tolerance for those who attack police, fire and ambulance personnel.
"The penalties need to be as life changing for the perpetrators as their crimes are for their victims.”
A message from the Editor
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.
With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.