HUNDREDS of emergency workers were attacked in South Wales in the 12 months since new legislation saw stricter sentences for those who assault blue-light staff.

The law came into effect on November 13, 2018, and 868 assaults have been reported against emergency workers in South Wales since. Charges have been brought in 62 per cent of cases.

The act made attacks on emergency workers an aggravating feature for sentencing - increasing the severity of punishments.

The law also introduced a new offence for minor assaults against emergency workers.

South Wales Police Chief Constable Matt Jukes says assaults on emergency personnel who are doing their job is still unacceptably high.

He said: “There is never any justification for attacking those who are doing an extraordinary job in keeping South Wales safe – but are still just doing their job.

“Emergency personnel are public servants, and anyone who thinks they have free rein to attack them should expect to be dealt with severely by the justice system.”