A DISTRICT MP is demanding tougher sentences for anyone convicted of assaulting an emergency worker.

Philip Davies was speaking as figures showed an increase in the number of attacks on West Yorkshire Police officers – to nearly 200 a month.

The Tory MP, whose Shipley constituency includes Cullingworth and Denholme, said the Government “must be on the side of the police and not criminals”.

A four-week consultation is currently under way, which could see the maximum sentence for assaulting an emergency worker rise from one to two years.

Mr Davies is calling for immediate legislation to protect existing officers and the 220-plus new personnel that have joined the West Yorkshire force in recent months as part of a recruitment drive.

He said: “Police officers put themselves on the frontline to protect us, often with little thought for their own safety.

“The very least they deserve is the knowledge that anyone who assaults them will feel the full force of the law and receive an appropriate sentence.

“We must be a Government of law and order and focus on the rights of law-abiding citizens and those people trying to protect us.”

Figures show that in the 12 months to April this year, there were 2,185 recorded assaults on West Yorkshire officers – up from 1,897 in 2018-19. Of the past year’s incidents, 464 resulted in injury.

Across England and Wales, there were 30,679 assaults recorded in the latest 12-month period.

Mr Davies added: “We cannot have a situation where we keep seeing assault numbers rise. No one should feel threatened or be threatened when carrying out their job.”