4th Dec, 2016

Rise in assaults on ambulance staff spark tougher sentence calls

Evesham Editorial 17th Nov, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

WEST Midlands Ambulance Service is calling for tougher sentencing after physical assaults on front line staff rose by 30 per cent in the last six months.

According to new figures revealed at the Trust’s Board meeting, the number of physical assaults on staff rose by almost 30 per cent to 139 incidents from April to September, including staff being kicked, punched, spat at and threatened with death.

The number of verbal assaults also rose by 13 per cent to 246 incidents reported.

Based on these statistics, Trust Chief Executive Anthony Marsh is to write to the Chairs of Magistrates Benches across the Region asking them to take the toughest possible action against members of the public who assault Trust staff.

“It is quite outrageous that our staff are having to put up with such violence. The Board is determined that we should do everything possible to protect our staff,” said Mr Marsh.

“We are asking them to support us by taking the toughest possible action against people who assault staff. We know the public abhor this violence so we are hopeful that they will support this move.”

Regional Security Manager, Steve Elliker, said: “The penalties handed down are simply not sufficient to deter people currently. We need sentences to be a deterrent so that people think twice before they attack our staff.

“The fact that some of our staff do not report cases of violence because they do not believe that enough action will be taken against the perpetrator is a sad reflection on how they feel.

“We are working hard to change that perception but we want the courts to support us 100 per cent so that this dreadful situation can be changed for the better.”