Outrage at 'watered down' bill.(News)

A leading councillor has slammed 'government interference' in a Bill which would have made it an imprisonable offence to assault fire crews.

Attacks on firefighters are running nationwide at 40 a week.

There are around 150 incidents in West Yorkshire every year, ranging from stoning to verbal abuse.

Alan Williams' Emergency Workers Protection Bill would have made it a specific offence to assault, obstruct or hinder fire crews. The maximum penalty in Scotland is already nine months' imprisonment.

Councillor Robert Light, Vice-Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, and a vigorous supporter of the bill, said there was widespread cross-party support for bringing English law into line with that in Scotland and damping clown on "the grotesque behaviour of young yobs. …

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