Assaults on emergency workers up by a third in the last year – news slammed by Warwickshire Police and West Midlands Ambulance Service
Latest figures show assaults against emergency service workers in Warwickshire were up by 30.4 per cent last year.
The figures, which compare 2019 and 2020, have shown there were a further 55 assaults against officers and emergency service workers in 2020 compared with the previous year (181 in 2019 compared with 236 in 2020).
Chief Superintendent Ben Smith, head of local policing for Warwickshire Police, said: “It’s extremely disappointing to see that these figures have shown a significant increase in assaults against our officers and fellow emergency service workers over the past year.
“While most of the county has been in lockdown, our officers have been working 24/7, putting themselves at risk, in order to protect the public and keep our communities safe.
“As police officers, we accept we will be asked to put ourselves in harm’s way to protect others, but this does not mean we expect to be assaulted. Like everyone else, emergency service workers have a right to work in a safe environment and to return home safe and uninjured at the end of a shift.
“Sadly, we know these figures are not unique to Warwickshire and there have been increases across the country.
“Assaults of any nature against emergency service workers will not be tolerated, and where our officers or blue light colleagues are assaulted, we will look to use the full force of the law to bring those responsible to justice.”
John Kelly, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s head of security and safety said: “It is never appropriate for our staff to be abused, verbally or physically; our crews have the right to work without fear of violence or intimidation whilst trying to help patients.
“It is clear that the public are outraged every time one of them is hurt and we hope that each time someone is convicted of assaulting an emergency service worker, that it acts as a deterrent to others who might think about attacking our staff.”
In one incident last August, an ambulance crew were assaulted on a callout to Coleshill. A man the crew were attending to attemped to break the windows of the ambulance and left one worker with a dislocated thumb and the other chest and arm injuries, pictured above.