Surge in Attacks on Ambulance Crews in Edinburgh and the Lothians

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New data reveals a notable increase in assaults targeting ambulance crews across Edinburgh and the Lothians, with figures showing a significant rise of over 70 per cent in violent incidents just last year.

Information disclosed to the Evening News unveils a worrying surge of 72.5 per cent in violent episodes in 2023 compared to the previous year, spanning aggravated assaults, sexual assaults, and verbal abuse.

Throughout 2023, a total of 69 documented incidents were reported, with concerning statistics indicating that ambulance staff encountered physical assaults such as punching, kicking, or spitting on 30 occasions. Furthermore, there were four reported instances of sexual assault and 16 incidents involving verbal abuse. The range of offences extended to include death threats, aggravated assaults, hate crimes, and indirect assaults.

Over the last two years, the wider Edinburgh area has seen ambulance staff subjected to physical or verbal abuse on 109 separate occasions, underscoring a troubling trend that necessitates immediate attention and intervention.

Countrywide figures for Scotland in 2023 depict a similarly grim scenario, with a total of 328 reported incidents of abuse directed towards ambulance staff. Alarmingly, these violent encounters were taking place almost daily, indicating a widespread and deeply concerning issue that jeopardises the safety and well-being of emergency medical responders.

The Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service unequivocally condemned the escalating violence, asserting, “We strongly condemn violence against our staff. They have the right to carry out their work helping patients and saving lives without fear of assault or abuse.”

Further emphasising the intolerable burden placed on ambulance personnel, who frequently face hostile situations, he reaffirmed the commitment to collaborate with Police Scotland to ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

The significant increase in attacks on ambulance crews is not only a matter of serious concern for the safety and welfare of frontline responders but also presents significant challenges to the provision of essential emergency medical services. As authorities grapple with this troubling trend, urgent measures are imperative to safeguard the dedicated individuals who selflessly serve their communities, often in hazardous and demanding conditions.

Dawn Jackson
Dawn Jackson
Journalist Dawn is an experienced business journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering stories that impact local communities, Dawn brings a unique perspective to her work. Through her insightful reporting, she keeps readers informed about the latest developments in various regions, shedding light on the economic landscape and entrepreneurial endeavours. Dawn's dedication to delivering accurate and engaging business news makes her a valuable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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