Ambulance service takes legal action against 45 people after assaults on paramedics

East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust
East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Paramedics reported nearly 70 cases of assault against them over a 12-month period, according to figures from East Midlands Ambulance Service.

The report also revealed that action had been taken against 45 people including anti-social behaviour orders, banning orders, tagging and, in some cases, imprisonment.

A spokesperson for EMAS said the service had topped an NHS league table for taking legal action people who had assaulted frontline paramedics.

Security Management Specialist at EMAS, Nick Arnold, who investigates these incidents and works with the police and the Crown Prosecution Service to prosecute offenders, said: “It’s unbelievable that some people think its okay to physically assault ambulance professionals that are only there to help in medical emergencies.

“Well it isn’t okay – and it’s my team’s job to make sure we track them down and take legal action against them so they get that message loud and clear.”

A total of 69 cases of assault were reported by EMAS staff during 2014/15.

“We’ve taken a zero tolerance approach for several years regarding threatening and abusive behaviour but unfortunately, some people don’t learn,” added Mr Arnold.

“Alcohol or substance abuse is often put forward as an excuse for such appalling acts but I’m afraid the legal system doesn’t work like that, and we will always push for the harshest penalties to be imposed.

“We have a duty to protect our staff and we’re doing just that. This includes having CCTV cameras installed on our vehicles so we have the evidence to prosecute.”

“We communicate to all staff the importance of reporting each time they either feel threatened or that they’ve been subjected to violence and not to treat this as part of the job.

“We also urge them to report all incidents where medical equipment or the vehicle they are travelling in is purposely damaged.”

To help paramedics report incidents immediately, the ambulance service has a 24/7 telephone reporting line in operation so it can take legal action as quickly as possible.