Tasmanian Parliament to consider greater protections for off-duty police officers

Police Minister Rene Hidding
Police Minister Rene Hidding

Police Minister Rene Hidding has declared today’s session of Parliament will be a “law and order day” as the government plans to extend its mandatory sentencing laws for assaults on off-duty police officers.

Mr Hidding said the extension was in response to an assault on an off-duty police officer in Longford and discussions with police officers since then.

The man received minor injuries.

The law, if passed, would only apply to assaults which resulted in serious injuries.

“I’m very pleased to understand that that police officer wasn’t badly hurt and that circumstance would not have triggered the mandatory imprisonment,” Mr Hidding said.

“But that’s just lucky.”

Mr Hidding said the onus would be on the defendant to prove they did not know their victim was an off-duty office if they were brought to court for the offence.

There are laws to impose six-month mandatory sentences for serious assaults on police officers.

So far, nobody has been sentenced for this crime.