Court warning for 999 attack thugs

Blackpool's emergency services are concerned over assaults. Left  to right, Chief Insp Laura Lawler, Blackpool Ambulance Station Manager Dave Rigby, and Forest Gate Watch Manager Mark Warwick.
Blackpool's emergency services are concerned over assaults. Left to right, Chief Insp Laura Lawler, Blackpool Ambulance Station Manager Dave Rigby, and Forest Gate Watch Manager Mark Warwick.
0
Have your say

Thugs who attack Blackpool’s 999 heroes are being warned they will be pursued through the courts.

The Gazette revealed the shocking scale of attacks on the resort’s emergency services last week, and today bosses stressed they will fight to get justice for their workers.

The majority – 261 – of the 348 people who assaulted police officers in the last three years have been charged, while statistics from the ambulance service reveal offenders have been cautioned, handed community service orders and sent to jail.

But of 34 incidents against ambulance staff five chose not to pursue action.

Dave Rigby, sector manager at Blackpool for the North West Ambulance Service, said: “We really push crews to take action and use the justice system against somebody and we will go to court with them.

“But I think sometimes they choose not to pursue action because they think it brings it all back to them, although we give a lot of support, and sometimes they do question the convictions.

“There was one recently where an offender get 100 hours community service for biting a paramedic, so that paramedic thinks they have had some sort of action taken but is that really enough for the trauma they have gone through?”

Of the police assaults, those who were not charged faced warnings, cautions or restorative justice.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “We take incidents against our staff and other emergency service workers very seriously.

“They deserve the right to be able to carry out their duties without fear of being subjected to abuse and we will take action through the courts to bring people to justice.”

************

Figures show catalogue of shameful assaults

************

• The figures, acquired by The Gazette through a Freedom of Information request, show police have been attacked by offenders as young as 12, with one officer being knocked unconscious by a teenager.

• One paramedic was sexually assaulted by a man she tried to treat while other workers have been punched, bitten, and spat on.

• In the last three years, from January 2010, there were 348 assaults on police officers across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre.

• There were 34 assaults between January 2010 and December 2012 on ambulance staff.

• Thirteen incidents were reported against firefighters over the last three years.

Follow us on twitter @The_Gazette and like our page on facebook to keep up with all the latest news.