North West Ambulance Service are supporting demands for tougher sentences for those attacking emergency service workers.

The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) called for harsher punishments after the Crown Prosecution Service announced last week that 50 people were prosecuted for the crime daily

Almost 20,000 charges were brought in the first year of the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act, with three-quarters of these an assault by bearing, and nine in ten occurring against police officers.

Ministry of Justice figures based on the first cases to go through the courts suggest that the crime has a 90 per cent conviction rate.

Managing director of AACE Martin Flaherty OBE said: “We obviously welcome this increase in prosecutions but we now need to see the judiciary playing their part by routinely handing out tougher sentences to those who punch, kick, spit at, attack or verbally abuse ambulance staff who are trying to help care for patients.

“Sadly this is happening on a daily basis across the UK and until the perpetrators get the most powerful message possible that it is unacceptable and abhorrent to attack emergency workers who are trying to help them or their loved ones, we fear that the hard work put into getting this law passed will have been in vain.”

The current maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency service worker is 12 months’ imprisonment, a fine, or both.