Call for tougher sentences for 999 attackers

Tuesday 14th October 2014 – 8.30am – Steve Parry/Chris Kowalik

Ambulance bosses and trade union leaders in the West Midlands are united in calling for tougher sentences for those people who attack and abuse ambulance staff.

VIDEO: See the launch of our week-long campaign here:

The number of ambulance workers being attacked, verbally abused or threatened while doing their job continues to be a ‘real concern’ with over 200 cases reported last year.

The latest figures released by West Midlands Ambulance Service show a depressing trend of violence and aggression against its staff. The on-going situation has sparked a call for tougher sentencing by Chief Executive Anthony Marsh and Unison’s Regional Organiser, Ray Salmon. The situation has also prompted a week of campaigning by the 999 service aimed at highlighting the issues faced by its staff.

VIDEO: More from Ray Salmon here:

Calling for tougher action, Steve Elliker, WMAS Security Manager, said: “I get frustrated sometimes if I’m being honest with the outcome of a criminal prosecution because there’s always mitigation. Some of that mitigation may be something totally out of character; they had to drink; they took some drugs. I have a very simplistic view – they had a choice, they decided to drink. Our members of staff who attended to them never had a choice – they had to go because they had called 999. That’s what angers me more than anything else – that we can’t always get the successful prosecution that we always want.”

VIDEO: More from Steve Elliker here:

The hard-hitting campaign includes testimony from operational staff together with interviews with ambulance bosses and trade union officials. Follow the ‘Under Attack’ campaign all this week on: Twitter and Facebook: @officialwmas.

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