The number of assaults on ambulance staff in Staffordshire has risen by 66%, shocking figures revealed today.
Statistics obtained under Freedom of Information show the level of abuse suffered by West Midlands Ambulance Service paramedics on duty between 2012-13 and 2017-18.
It also revealed Staffordshire paramedics have been the victim of 30 physical abusive incidents in 2012/2013, rising to 50 attacks in the last 12 months.
The number drug or alcohol related attacks has almost doubled since 2012-13.
Statistics also show ambulance service workers were subjected to 29 verbal abusive incidents in 2012/2013, compared to 41 in previous years – a staggering 41% increase.
This comes just weeks after a Tunstall woman was fined £120 after pleading guilty to a public order offence, when she left an abusive note on an ambulance windscreen demanding that it be moved from outside her home.
Steve Elliker, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Head of Security and Safety, said: “It is extremely disappointing that our staff are subjected to physical and verbal abuse when they are trying to help people in their hour of need.
“Whether it is attacks on crews responding to incidents, or call centre staff on the end of a phone, it is completely unacceptable.
“As such, the Trust has a zero tolerance policy in place and works extremely hard to bring the full weight of the law to bear on anyone who attacks our staff.
“It is simply not acceptable that staff who are there to help people, suffer at the hands of patients, their relatives or other people at the scene. Any type of assault against our staff will not be tolerated.”
Firefighters have also been the victim of increasing abuse on emergency service workers.
Statistics show emergency service workers from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service have seen a 50% increase from the years 2012/2013 to the years 2016/2017.
Police officers in Staffordshire have also been made victims of abuse while on duty.
In the previous 12 months there have been 300 assaults on police officers in the course of their duty, whilst in the year 2012/13 there were 293 assaults on officers, resulting in a 2% rise.
Sgt Nigel Roberts, a long-standing police officer in East Staffordshire local policing team, has recently been the victim of a physical attack when on duty.
The officer was called to an address in Hanbury, Burton-on-Trent, on Christmas Day last year, to reports of a domestic incident, when a man resisted arrest and broke Sergeant Robert’s leg.
The man was subsequently jailed for two years eight months, for grievous bodily harm without intent.
Sergeant Roberts was seriously injured in the attack, which has left him out of full duties until the summer.
After the attack Sergeant Roberts, said: “Unfortunately putting ourselves in harm’s way to protect the communities of Staffordshire is a very real part of the job. My officers and I receive the best training on how to resolve situations peacefully and without incident.
“Unfortunately, on some occasions, not everything goes to plan and injuries like mine occur.
“I would like to thank all my colleagues at Staffordshire Police for their support since the injury, it’s a great reminder of the support you receive as part of the family.”
Chief Superintendent, Jeff Moore, head of neighborhood and partnerships, said: “This is a clear reminder that policing requires sacrifice and courage every day in serving the public.
“We have seen an increase in the number of assaults on police officers in the last 12 months. This can have a lasting effect on officers, and their families, as they deal with the physical and psychological effects.
“Incidents like these also impact negatively on morale within the force as officers should never be subject to any level of violence.”