National will fix First Responders Bill

While National supports increased protections for first responders and tougher penalties for offenders but wants a Bill that works, National’s Corrections spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Getting the detail right for the protection of first responders and corrections officers is crucial to protection those front line workers.

“The Justice Select Committee never got to do its job properly on this Bill, due to the COVID-19 emergency and the Government giving priority to the Prisoner Voting Bill.

“National moved for an extension and invited the Bills Sponsor to provide the committee with his extensive amendments, but these were refused.

“The right way forward is for the Bill and the 8 extensive amendments to go back to the Justice Select Committee so we have good, robust legislation that protects our first responders.

“National has a proud track record of supporting first responders. When we were in Government we amended the Sentencing Act so that assaults on first responders was considered an aggravating factor at the time of sentencing.

“National will fix this Bill and ensure our first responders and corrections officers get the protections they deserve.”