Leicestershire  Police Federation

Petition to stop emergency services being verbally assaulted in a private dwelling without due recourse

17 January 2024

 

Petition to stop emergency services being verbally assaulted in a private dwelling without due recourse

 

An officer at Leicestershire Police Crime Bureau has started a petition in a bid to close a loophole where emergency services can get verbally assaulted in a private dwelling without due recourse.

PC Jason Swan has petitioned the Government to create an offence ‘to exhibit behaviour that is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to emergency workers, inside a dwelling’.

emergency workers such as police officers and ambulance staff attend people's homes, they can become victims of verbal abuse. Currently, public order offences cannot be committed when both parties are inside a dwelling, meaning that people can't be charged for behaviour that would be an offence if it took place in another setting.

Jason argues that if the offender has demonstrated or been motivated by hostility based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity, this should be an aggravated offence.

Jason said: “Staff from Leicestershire Police Crime Bureau recently attended hate crime training, where it was established when emergency service workers enter a dwelling and become subject of verbal abuse or insults, there is no legislation to record any offence. This would be dealt with at the time as a breach of the peace only, and under a list of behaviour we are ‘expected’ to put up with.

“This was concerning to many, as there would not be any method of recording the abuse or any aggravated factor such as any hate element involved. After researching this loophole for abuse to emergency workers, I created a Government petition to create a new offence.”

The petition was published on 2 January and requires 100,000 signatures to trigger a debate in Parliament: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/653146