England

Increase in attacks on East Midlands ambulance crews

The number of assaults on ambulance crews in the East Midlands has increased for the third year running.

The latest figures - for 2009/10 - show there were 75 physical attacks, compared to 68 in 2008/09 and 58 the previous year.

In one instance last year, a female worker was thrown across an ambulance while trying to take a spot of blood from a patient's finger.

She suffered a back injury after landing on the vehicle's wheel arch.

Alcohol and drugs

Nick Arnold, a security specialist at East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS), said: "EMAS will not tolerate violence or abuse against our staff.

"We have a strong reputation for successfully prosecuting people who think nothing of assaulting our staff and we will continue to do so. Punishments have included fines and even imprisonment for attackers.

"A large proportion of attacks are carried out by those under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances so I would ask that while people enjoy themselves, they make a conscious effort to remain in control of their actions.

"Not doing so could result in them having a criminal record, and therefore perhaps a very different life to the one they had planned."

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