Berkshire

Ambulance 'attack homes' in Berkshire rise four-fold

The number of homes in Berkshire where ambulance crews must wait for a police escort before attending has risen almost four-fold since 2008.

There are now 381 "flagged" addresses with a history of violence against medics.

The number has increased from the 97 homes in November 2008, figures obtained by the BBC have revealed.

South Central Ambulance Service said the measure protects crews and homes on the list were regularly reviewed.

Les Pringle, who was a paramedic for 30 years, has been punched on duty and had to wrestle with a patient who tried to jump from an ambulance.

'Immediately aggressive'

He said: "We go out to thousands of calls a day... and the violence is very slight, but when it does happen it is quite a shock.

"Funnily enough it's not always the patients, it's usually the friends or relatives who thinks they have waited too long.

"They might have waited five minutes, but to them it feels like 20 and they are immediately aggressive."

South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) said: "Flagging addresses is one of the measures SCAS employs to help to protect ambulance crews who could be called to any location at any time to treat patients and save lives.

"Flagged addresses are reviewed after six months and removed from our system if no further incidences of violence or aggression have occurred.

"SCAS has zero tolerance for violence and aggression and will pursue prosecution of anyone who attacks any member of staff."

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