Drive to protect emergency staff.(News)

People who attack emergency service workers can expect stiffer penalties if the Scottish Executive presses ahead with new legislation. Public Services Minister Andy Kerr wants to give emergency workers statutory protection. Consultation on measures that would make it a specific offence to assault emergency workers or make hoax calls closed as FIRE went to press.

Mr Kerr said that the executive would introduce measures to help protect other public sector workers, including more CCTV, better training and awareness campaigns.

Speaking alter a debate on the issue in parliament, Mr Kerr said the executive was prepared to adopt a tough stance: "These are workers providing an essential service to society in difficult and dangerous circumstances," the minister said. …

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