County has five ‘no-gos’ for medics

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

FIVE lo­ca­tions in Sur­rey have been flagged as po­ten­tially too dan­ger­ous for paramedics and am­bu­lance staff to at­tend.

South East Coast Am­bu­lance Ser­vice (SECAmb) said as of Au­gust this year, there were five such ad­dresses pos­ing a risk of vi­o­lence to re­spon­ders.

This is up from four in Novem­ber 2015 ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion is­sued by SECAmb via Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion leg­is­la­tion.

The am­bu­lance ser­vice says ‘red mark­ers’ re­late to the high­est risk cat­e­gory flagged on its com­puter as­sisted dis­patch sys­tem.

Red lo­ca­tions are de­fined as ad­dresses where avail­able in­for­ma­tion sug­gests staff have pre­vi­ously been phys­i­cally as­saulted or threat­ened with vi­o­lence.

A fur­ther 10 ad­dresses have been marked as ‘am­ber’, although this was down from 15 in Novem­ber 2015.

An am­ber marker flags those ad­dresses where avail­able in­for­ma­tion sug­gests there is a po­ten­tial risk to crews of abu­sive, ag­gres­sive or in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour.

A SECAmb spokesman said: “We have a duty to pro­tect our staff which is why we have a sys­tem which flags po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous ad­dresses.

“We will not tol­er­ate any vi­o­lence or threat of vi­o­lence against our staff and will, where pos­si­ble, look to pros­e­cute the small mi­nor­ity of peo­ple who act in this way.”

Na­tion­ally, fig­ures re­leased by am­bu­lance ser­vices in July 2017 re­veal there are around 5,000 ad­dresses across the UK flagged as ei­ther hav­ing a risk of vi­o­lence, need­ing po­lice as­sis­tance or be­ing places where res­i­dents may be abu­sive. This is up from around 4,800 at the end of 2015. Fig­ures were not avail­able for East Mid­lands or West Mid­lands Am­bu­lance ser­vices.

Labour is propos­ing a new Crime (As­saults on Emer­gency Staff) Bill to make at­tacks on emer­gency ser­vice per­son­nel such as po­lice of­fi­cers, fire­fight­ers and paramedics and other re­spon­ders an ag­gra­vated of­fence.

This would mean that it would be likely that the max­i­mum pun­ish­ment avail­able to judges in these cases would in­crease con­sid­er­ably.

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