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Shock new figures show assaults on paramedics.

Byline: DEBORA ARU News Reporter

AMBULANCE staff in Birmingham have suffered almost 200 assaults a year on average during the last five years.

Exclusive figures obtained by the Birmingham Mail through a Freedom of Information request show West Midlands Ambulance Service staff reported 919 assaults in Birmingham between 2013 and 2018, working out at an average of 184 assaults a year.

Of the total, 394 were physical while 525 were verbal. Some 285 of the physical assaults were intentional while 471 of the verbal cases were intentional.

From April 2017 to January 2018, there were already 180 assaults reported, 93 of which were physical.

Across the West Midlands, there were a total of 3,462 assaults over the five-year period, including 1,422 physical and 2.040 verbal.

Across England, ambulance staff were assaulted 10 times a day on average, or 3,701 times during the financial year 2016/17, including physical and non-physical assaults.

This is an increase compared to 2015/16 when there were 3,495 assaults.

According to figures obtained from five out of ten ambulance services a total of 1,609 assaults have already been recorded in 2017/18 to date.

Ambulance staff in London were assaulted 353 times, North East staff were assaulted 239 times, South Central staff 147 times, South West staff 152 times.

UNISON lead officer for ambulance staff Alan Lofthouse said: "Ambulance staff are dedicated to serving the public and saving lives.

"Physical and sexual attacks are on the increase, leaving ambulance staff traumatised.

"This makes already stressful jobs almost unbearable, leading many to leave a job they love.

"There must be no hiding place for anyone who intimidates, threatens or abuses staff.

"The government must do more to prosecute offenders and improve employees' safety."


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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 8, 2018
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