Paramedics need po­lice es­cort for 50 ad­dresses

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

MORE than 50 ad­dresses in the West Mid­lands are so dan­ger­ous paramedics have to have a po­lice es­cort to visit them.

Fig­ures ob­tained un­der the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion Act show there are 52 prop­er­ties am­bu­lance staff will only at­tend if there is a po­lice pres­ence at the scene.

West Mid­lands Am­bu­lance Ser­vice con­firmed dan­ger­ous lo­ca­tions where staff mem­bers have reg­u­larly been vic­tims of ver­bal or phys­i­cal abuse are flagged.

They in­clude 20 ad­dresses in Birm­ing­ham, nine prop­er­ties in Coven­try and six homes in Wolver­hamp­ton where staff re­quire a po­lice es­cort.

There have been 1,903 ver­bal as­saults and 1,249 phys­i­cal as­saults on paramedics, stu­dents and am­bu­lance driv­ers in the last six years.

It comes amid in­creas­ing con­cerns for the safety of am­bu­lance crews who have suf­fered a ris­ing tide of violence, of­ten from the very peo­ple they are try­ing to help.

“The Trust does ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to pro­tect staff from violence,” said an am­bu­lance ser­vice spokesman. “In a very small num­ber of ad­dresses, due to pre­vi­ous in­ci­dents, we will only at­tend if the po­lice are on scene. Anti-so­cial be­hav­iour to­wards our staff, whether phys­i­cal or ver­bal is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able.

“As a Trust, we will push to have per­pe­tra­tors pros­e­cuted wher­ever it is pos­si­ble or ap­pro­pri­ate to do so.”

The am­bu­lance ser­vice said that un­der the data pro­tec­tion act they would not re­lease full de­tails of the red-flagged ad­dresses.

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