IT is an unacceptable state of affairs that our emergency services are attacked in the course of carrying out their duty.

In some cases, for police officers, it will be a hazard that comes with the job when dealing with violent criminals and people looking to avoid arrest.

That doesn’t mean we should simply accept it, and those convicted need to be dealt with robustly by the courts.

All too often we hear of firefighters being ambushed while trying to put out fires and in some cases hoax calls made to lure them to a scene for the purpose of attack.

This mindless thuggery is putting the lives of the fire crews at risk and also the lives of others as the firefighters could be needed at a genuine call-out elsewhere.

These people need to given sentences that lets them know the seriousness of their actions and that this will not be tolerated by the rest of society.

Others, including ambulance workers and nurses and medics in casualty departments, regularly have to deal with violence and abuse, often from people who are drunk.

Whatever the reason, whatever the excuse, there is no justification for assaults on our emergency services.

Other public-facing workers are also exposed to abuse and the threat of violence and they also deserve protection.

The answer is to send a message in the sentencing.