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30 August 2011, 07:42
The number of paramedics and ambulance crews getting assaulted or attacked at work has gone up according to new figures.
In Norfolk the number of attacks went up to 25 from just 8 during the previous year. In Suffolk, the number of assaults went from 16 to 20 last year.
Danny Daniel, Health, Safety and Security Manager for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said assaults against staff, sometimes by the very people they are trying to help, were completely intolerable. He added that the Trust would bring appropriate legal action against anyone attacking staff.
“The Trust is continuing to encourage more staff to report incidents which figures will reflect. However while the overwhelming majority of the people our staff see are extremely supportive and appreciative of their hard work there is sadly a significant minority whose violent behaviour is absolutely unacceptable.
“These acts of aggression carried out while staff try to go about their day to day work helping those in need not only affects those staff themselves but potentially presents challenges in getting resources out to other incidents.
There were a number of successful prosecutions in 2010/11, including a man found guilty of common assault and sentenced to six weeks imprisonment with a further six weeks suspended for 18 months. He was also required to compensate the Trust and the staff member assaulted for damages.