Struan Mackie appalled at number of assaults on NHS workers
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Conservative candidate Struan Mackie has hit out at the "disgraceful" number of assaults on health service staff during the pandemic.
A Freedom of Information request by his party revealed that 4907 assaults were carried out against NHS staff during 2020/21, with 296 of those occurring in the NHS Highland area.
The assaults relating to NHS Highland resulted in 12 reports to the police during this period.
Councillor Mackie, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, said assaults against health staff were completely unacceptable at any time but "even more appalling" when they were protecting the public against Covid-19.
He is backing plans by his party that would see a doubling of sentences for those who assault emergency workers to two years.
He said the Conservatives would introduce a Victims' Law to put their needs first.
“It is absolutely disgraceful to see so many of our NHS heroes being assaulted," Councillor Mackie said.
“Assaults against our emergency workers are unacceptable at any time, but these attacks are particularly appalling at a time when they were fighting to protect us from Covid.
“We must guarantee that our key workers will be safe at their work. That is why I am backing plans by the Scottish Conservatives that would double the sentences for those who attack emergency workers to two years.
“As part of our plans to introduce a Victims' Law, we will put their needs first once and for all.
“All too often the SNP has made the interests of a criminals a priority and taken a soft-touch attitude in our justice system.
“Due to their effective banning of short sentences, it is unlikely many of these attackers of our NHS heroes will have gone to jail, which is wrong.
“If elected, I will be proud to back legislation that will increase sentencing against those who think it is acceptable to assault our emergency workers.
“Only by voting for the Scottish Conservatives on your peach ballot paper will you guarantee a focus on protecting our emergency workers over an obsession over another independence referendum.”