This report presents the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council’s findings and recommendations on its inquiry into penalties for assaults on public officers, referred to the Council by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the Honourable Yvette D’Ath MP.
In asking the Council to undertake this review, the Attorney-General referred to the expectation of the community and government that public officers should not be the subject of assault during the execution of their duties, and the need for public officers to have confidence that the criminal justice system properly reflects the inherent dangers they face.
‘Public officer’ was defined for the purposes of the review to include police and other emergency service workers, corrective services officers, and other public officers engaged to perform public duties on behalf of the State of Queensland. Its meaning as this applies to offences charged under section 340(2AA) of the Criminal Code (Qld) and whether its scope should be expanded was a key focus of the review.
The Council’s analysis was limited to assaults and assault-related offences that could be readily identified as involving a public officer victim. Fatal assaults and sexual assaults were scoped out on the basis that these were not the intended focus of the current review. Limited analysis of other offences charged was undertaken based on data provided by the Queensland Police Service (QPS), Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) and the Department of Youth Justice.