‘Respect staff’ plea

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HERTFORDSHIRE has bucked the trend seen by an overall increase in the number of ambulance staff being physically assaulted in the east of England.

A rise of more than 10 per cent has been reported by the East of England Ambulance Service in the region with a total of 140 staff being assaulted in 2010/11 – up on 125 victims recorded last year.

But despite this, the county actually saw a decrease over the previous year with 10 cases being reported, down on 14 the year before.

Every other county in the east of England, expect Cambridgeshire, has seen an increase with Norfolk seeing a rise up to 25 cases from just eight the year before.

Danny Daniel, the health, safety and security manager for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “These acts of aggression carried out while staff try to go about their day to day work helping those in need not only affects those staff themselves but potentially presents challenges in getting resources out to other incidents.

“The Trust will continue to do all within its power to ensure that appropriate action is taken by the police and Crown Prosecution Service in relation to assaults on staff.

“We also train our staff to undertake a risk assessment of every situation they attend.”