Posted on November 26, 2018

More Than 1,400 Addresses Where Ambulances Won’t Go Without Police Protection

Jon Rogers, The Sun, November 25, 2018

Ambulance crews will not attend incidents at more than 1,400 homes in England without a police escort, shocking new figures have revealed.

The North West service, with 756 addresses red-flagged was the country’s worst area for assaults.

Around eight paramedics are subjected to a serious attack every day as they try to carry out their work saving the public.

Some have been stabbed, throttled and even sexually assaulted in their line of work.

Assaults on ambulance crew members have soared by 36 percent in just five years, according to figures seen by the Sunday People.

More than 2,800 staff were attacked on duty last year, a rise from just over 2,000 in 2013-14.

The figures cover ten of the 11 ambulance trusts in England.

In London, injuries sustained by staff included asphyxiation, spinal cord damage, burns, dislocations, fractures and concussion.

A shocking 69 ambulance workers reported being sexually assaulted in 2017 in Yorkshire while another 47 were kicked, 24 slapped, 17 bitten and 36 spat upon.

South East Coast Ambulance has seen the number of assaults on staff nearly double in five years from 113 in 2013-14 to 220 in 2017-18.

GMB union national secretary Rehana Azam said: “These terrifying figures underline that ambulance workers, along with all those who work in the emergency services, are forced to work under an increased threat of violence.

“Cuts in funding mean our ambulance workers are more likely to be working alone. Cuts to police services mean back-up isn’t always there.

“Once again it comes down to the Conservatives’ failed austerity project putting lives in danger.”

Martin Flaherty, managing director of the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, told the paper a surge in alcohol and drug-related incidents was behind the rise in violence.

He said: “Each service has its own strategy for protecting staff against violence and aggression and those plans are detailed and comprehensive.

“But almost none of the perpetrators receive custodial sentences when they are prosecuted for assaulting our staff.”

Research carried out in April found that ambulance trusts were short of nearly 1,000 frontline staff.

It is hoped a new law which was introduced last week will help stem the rising level of attacks.

The law introduced a new offence of assaulting an emergency worker, including the police, which doubles the usual maximum six month jail term for common assault.

Earlier this month paramedic and dad-of-three Mike Duggan told how a boozed-up thug spat at him through the ambulance window and threatened to “knock him out”.

Mr Duggan, 32, said the thug appeared out of the blue while he was on a routine job in Birmingham on a Saturday night.

He said: “We are just in a position to help.

“I go to work as a paramedic and I deal with everybody the best way that I can.

“We are just in a position to help.

“”This guy just kept telling me to go away and tried to get in my car.

“He continued to be abusive while spitting and then raised his fist and told me to f*** off.”

A man was later arrested in connection to the incident.

A London ambulance crew was also attacked this month while they were attending to a seriously ill OAP.

A coach driver assaulted one member of the team and left a second “shaken” by the ordeal in Camberwell, south London.

Police said the man was angry at how the ambulance was parked.

He pushed one paramedic and verbally abused both. They were not badly hurt but were so shaken they could not finish their shift.

The attack meant a second ambulance had to be called to transport the elderly woman to hospital.

A man was arrested nearby and taken for questioning.