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Warning of attacks on 999 crews.

Byline: DEBORA ARU AND ANDREW HIRST andrew.hirst@examiner.co.uk

THERE are two assaults on ambulance staff in Yorkshire every day on average, with warnings the violence could lead staff to quit.

Exclusive figures obtained by the Huddersfield Daily Examiner through a Freedom of Information request show that Yorkshire ambulance service staff were attacked 712 times in 2016/17.

Of these 712 attacks, 212 were physical assaults and 500 were non-physical assaults which includes verbal assaults, aggression or unco-operative behaviour. The number of assaults has increased compared to 2015/16, when there were 688 assaults, 209 which were physical.

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 10 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 and West Midlands staff 725 times, 325 of which were physical.

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."

Have YOUR say at www.examiner.co.uk

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:May 16, 2018
Words:284
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