England

CCTV for West Midlands ambulances after rise in staff attacks

Steve Elliker Image copyright WMAS
Image caption WMAS regional security manager Steve Elliker wants tougher sentences to stop a rise in assaults on ambulance staff

CCTV cameras are to be installed on the majority of West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) vehicles to try to reduce abuse against paramedics.

In November, the service said physical assaults had risen by 30%, with 108 attacks between April and September 2014, to 139 in 2015.

The assaults included staff being kicked, punched and threatened with knives.

Now, if an attack is reported, footage can be accessed and assessed.

Steve Elliker, regional security manager for WMAS, said the number of staff being attacked, verbally abused or threatened while doing their job was a "great concern".

Chief Executive Anthony Marsh has said he would be writing to magistrates calling for stronger deterrents because it was "outrageous" paramedics had to put up with such violence.

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