PEOPLE who attack emergency workers should face tougher sentences, according to Essex’s police, fire and crime commissioner.

Roger Hirst claims sentencing guidelines “need to be looked at again” by the Government.

His comments come in the wake of Justin Jackson, 28, being jailed for three years and nine months last week for throwing petrol over eight police officers.

Mr Hirst said he was pleased with the outcome of Jackson’s sentencing but felt all assaults on emergency workers needed more serious punishments.

He said: “I think the bottom line is the officers who protect the law like this need the protection of the law themselves.

“It’s good to see the judge gave the maximum sentence she could, but is it good enough?

“It was the maximum she could give with the 75 per cent tariff after he admitted the offence, she was very firm in her words which was encouraging.

“I look at the sentencings on assaults of emergency workers, when you have the 75 per cent tariff with the guilty plea the maximum you can get for common assault is 12 months.

“It’s not really very much at all for an assault on the people there to protect us.”

Jackson’s attack on the police in Ward Close on May 5 left officers with stinging skin and limited eye-sight, although they all managed to return to work.

Det Con Natalie Backhouse, who led the investigation said: “To have eight victim police officers, needing the help from other officers because of such an attack is completely unprecedented.”

Judge Cohen said: “They thought it was a disfiguring acid.”

Janine Justin, 47, Jackson’s mother, was also convicted for arming herself with a hammer and waving it at officers during the incident. She received a suspended prison sentence and 200 hours of unpaid work.

Mr Hirst said he would be urging the new government administration to increase the amount of time offenders must serve in prison.

He added: “I think its fair to say that I will be lobbying any new government come December to take a look at the sentencings for assaults on emergency workers.

“The five-year tariff for the more serious assaults should be the tariff for the more common assaults.

“The officers should not have less rights than animals. I know it’s a view shared by many fellow PCCs, it needs to be looked at again.”