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The British government on Monday launched a public consultation on doubling maximum prison sentence for assaults on emergency workers in Britain.

Currently people convicted of assaulting police officers, firefighters, prison officers or paramedics face a maximum of 12 months in prison.

The government wants the sentence to be doubled to two years, with even higher jail terms for people convicted by courts of causing grievous bodily harm or sexual assaults on emergency workers.

A public consultation on tougher sentences sends a clear message to vile thugs who assault emergency workers, said Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The consultation will run for four weeks and, depending on the response, legislation could be brought forward. The move would see the maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker doubled for the second time in two years.

Assault covers acts such as a push, shove or being spat at. When an emergency worker is seriously injured, prosecutions will take place under more serious offences such as actual, or grievous bodily harm, or attempted murder that have far longer sentences.

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