Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2006

1Obstructing or hindering certain emergency workers responding to emergency circumstances

(1)A person who without reasonable excuse obstructs or hinders another while that other person is, in a capacity mentioned in subsection (2) below, responding to emergency circumstances, commits an offence.

(2)The capacity referred to in subsection (1) above is—

(a)that of a person employed by a fire and rescue authority in England and Wales;

(b)in relation to England and Wales, that of a person (other than a person falling within paragraph (a)) whose duties as an employee or as a servant of the Crown involve—

(i)extinguishing fires; or

(ii)protecting life and property in the event of a fire;

(c)that of a person employed by a relevant NHS body in the provision of ambulance services (including air ambulance services), or of a person providing such services pursuant to arrangements made by, or at the request of, a relevant NHS body;

(d)that of a person providing services for the transport of organs, blood, equipment or personnel pursuant to arrangements made by, or at the request of, a relevant NHS body;

(e)that of a member of Her Majesty’s Coastguard;

(f)that of a member of the crew of a vessel operated by—

(i)the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, or

(ii)any other person or organisation operating a vessel for the purpose of providing a rescue service,

or a person who musters the crew of such a vessel or attends to its launch or recovery.

(3)For the purposes of this section and section 2 of this Act, a person is responding to emergency circumstances if the person—

(a)is going anywhere for the purpose of dealing with emergency circumstances occurring there; or

(b)is dealing with emergency circumstances or preparing to do so.

(4)For the purposes of this Act, circumstances are “emergency” circumstances if they are present or imminent and—

(a)are causing or are likely to cause—

(i)serious injury to or the serious illness (including mental illness) of a person;

(ii)serious harm to the environment (including the life and health of plants and animals);

(iii)serious harm to any building or other property; or

(iv)a worsening of any such injury, illness or harm; or

(b)are likely to cause the death of a person.

(5)In subsection (2) above “relevant NHS body” means—

(a)in relation to England and Wales, an NHS foundation trust, National Health Service trust, Special Health Authority, Primary Care Trust or Local Health Board;

(b)in relation to Northern Ireland, a Health and Social Services trust or Health and Social Services Board.