Call for tougher action against people who assault ambulance staff

Staff are often frustrated at the outcome of criminal proceedings
Staff are often frustrated at the outcome of criminal proceedings
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Ambulance bosses and trade union leaders in the West Midlands are united in calling for tougher sentences for those people who attack and abuse ambulance staff.

The number of ambulance workers being attacked, verbally abused or threatened while doing their job continues to be a “real concern” with over 200 cases reported last year.

The latest figures released by West Midlands Ambulance Service show a trend of violence and aggression against its staff. The situation has sparked a call for tougher sentencing by Chief Executive Anthony Marsh and Unison’s Regional Organiser, Ray Salmon. The situation has also prompted a week of campaigning by the 999 service aimed at highlighting the issues faced by its staff.

Calling for tougher action, Steve Elliker, WMAS security manager, said: “I get frustrated sometimes if I’m being honest with the outcome of a criminal prosecution because there’s always mitigation.

“Some of that mitigation may be something totally out of character - they had to drink, they took some drugs. I have a very simplistic view – they had a choice, they decided to drink.

“Our members of staff who attended to them never had a choice – they had to go because they had called 999. That’s what angers me more than anything else – that we can’t always get the successful prosecution that we always want.”

The hard-hitting campaign includes testimony from operational staff together with interviews with ambulance bosses and trade union officials. Follow the ‘Under Attack’ campaign all this week at www.officialwmas.wordpress.com.