Scottish Tories Unveil Plans To Increase Safety Of Emergency Workers

5 November 2018, 08:37

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The Scottish Conservatives are to pledge extra protection for emergency workers - including the ability to search for fireworks.

Liam Kerr MSP is to announce a range of measures designed to improve staff safety at a Scottish Fire and Rescue Service control centre in Dundee.

Proposals include giving police the power to search for fireworks, tougher sentences for offences against emergency staff and ensuring responders have equipment to keep them from harm.

Mr Kerr said: "The importance of our emergency workers simply cannot be underestimated.

"They work in the worst of conditions to help people experiencing the most terrifying of situations.

"Following my seeing, first hand, the intense pressure that our emergency workers operate within each time they go to work, I would like to demonstrate the Scottish Conservatives' commitment to these crucial services.

"I firmly endorse the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service campaign 'Do Not Attack Me' and reiterate that any attempts to harm fire crews should not be tolerated.

"This initial package of targeted policies would give emergency workers additional support as they undertake their vital work."

He added: "It is fundamental that all our emergency services have the right equipment to keep them safe and the legal support to keep others safe.

"It is also vital that those who attack emergency services staff feel the enhanced force of the law."

The call comes on Bonfire Night, which is the emergency workers' busiest time of year and has seen staff face disorder.

The Scottish Conservatives said 2016/17 saw 61 firefighters involved in incidents where they were physically or verbally abused or had objects thrown at fire engines, causing injuries to seven staff.

Other proposed measures include·whole life sentences for murdering a police officer and a ban on single-crew ambulances.