The NSW Government have announced their response to the report of the NSW Sentencing Council on “Assaults on emergency services workers”, confirming that they will support all the recommendations from the report. The PSA has previously lobbied and exchanged correspondence with the Minister for Corrections, Dr Geoff Lee, as well as the Attorney General, Mr Mark Speakman to ensure the Government supports the recommendations including:
- Extending offences against law enforcement officers to include all correctional staff;
- Proposed new aggravated offences for assaults against law enforcement officers during public disorders (with the definition of ‘public disorder’ expanded to include riots or civil disturbances occurring at correctional centres); and
- Extending the operation of consecutive sentence provisions related to offences committed by inmates on remand and increasing judicial education on those provisions.
The above recommendations have all been supported, with the Crimes Act in particular being amended to clarify that the definition of public disorder includes a riot or civil disturbance occurring in a correctional centre. Wounding a prison officer during a riot could also lead to 14 years in jail. You can view the Governments response here
The PSA will seek a briefing from Dr Lee regarding the timeframe and specifics of what the Government will be proposing to enshrine this support in legislation, and will keep members informed of the outcome of this briefing.