Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

29 November 2017

Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

Loophole remains for off duty police assaults

I am very disappointed the Government’s legislation to extend mandatory sentencing provisions for serious assaults against off-duty police officers has been voted down in the Legislative Council today.

This means a loophole in the legislation will remain where a police officer enjoys mandatory protections against serious assault when they’re on duty, but as soon as they clock off they can be seriously assaulted without any guarantee of jail time.

There is no doubt that some individuals may feel malice towards police officers, either individually or generally, and this amendment would have ensured zero tolerance applies when police officers are targeted simply because of their jobs.

It is particularly disappointing that Labor used their voting block to vote against the legislation for no other reason than pure political self-interest.

You would think after Labor cut over 100 police officers from the frontline, the least they could do now is vote for better protection for police officers who are targeted for assault because of their job.

They now need to explain their decision to oppose the legislation to every hard-working police officer and their families.

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