Paramedics’ danger hotspots double in two years
DANGER addresses in Greater Manchester where paramedics could face violence have more than doubled in just two years, our sister paper the M.E.N. can reveal.
Our investigation has found that 165 addresses are now flagged for ‘violence and aggression’ on the North West Ambulance Service’s dispatch system.
The markers indicate where police assistance is needed – or where paramedics can expect abusive residents and should ‘proceed with caution’.
The figures, revealed after a Freedom of Information Request, include 36 addresses in Manchester, 23 in Salford, 20 in Rochdale and 19 properties in Oldham.
It marks a huge rise from the 77 addresses recorded across the region in 2015, although the figures are down from the 215 properties flagged up in 2016.
The figures reveal 15 addresses in Bury carry warnings, 14 in Wigan, 12 in Bolton, 11 in Tameside, eight in Stockport and seven in Trafford.
Year-on-year increases were recorded in Bury, Oldham, Rochdale and Salford.
NWAS chiefs said recording and registering danger addresses have improved since 2015, with a new system and process in place for capturing incidents. Ambulance crews, NWAS said, are now also more engaged in reporting and recording incidents.
According to the data, as of July this year 5,600 addresses across the UK have been flagged – compared to 5,200 at the end of 2015.
Labour MP Chris Bryant is set to propose stiffer sentences for attacks on emergency services workers.
A spokesperson for North West Ambulance Service said: “Violent incidents are taken extremely seriously and are very traumatic for our staff.
“It’s important for us to flag up any addresses that we feel there may be a potential for violence as our staff can be put in a vulnerable position. We also have steps in place for our crews to take so that we can support them if they do feel they are in any danger.
“Staff members that are subject to any form of violence or aggression are offered a great deal of support from the trust, both physically and mentally, but we do urge people to be respectful and please remember that our ambulance crews are only human and are here to help.”
●●Paramedics responding to an emergency call