Physical assaults on ambulance staff in West Midlands up by 30%
An ambulance chief is calling for more support after physical assaults on staff rose by 30%.
The West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said attack numbers rose from 108 between April and September, 2014, to 139 this year.
Verbal assaults on ambulance workers also rose 13% to 246 reported incidents in the same period.
Assaults on emergency services staff included employees being kicked, punched and threatened with knives.
Ambulance trust chief executive Anthony Marsh said he is writing to magistrates calling for more deterrents to offending.
“It is quite outrageous that our staff are having to put up with such violence,” he said.
“We are asking them to support us by taking the toughest possible action against people who assault staff.
“We know the public abhor this violence so we are hopeful that they will support this move.”
Steve Elliker, regional security manager for WMAS, said magistrates needed to hand down the most severe sentences possible for assault to make ambulance staff feel protected.
“The fact that some of our staff do not report cases of violence because they do not believe that enough action will be taken against the perpetrator is a sad reflection on how they feel.”
The maximum sentence for common assault is six months’ imprisonment, while assault occasioning actual bodily harm or making threats to kill can incur prison sentences of up to five years and 10 years respectively