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WATCH: The emergency workers being attacked in Cornwall

WATCH: The emergency workers being attacked in Cornwall

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:04am 1st November 2018. (Updated at 7:44am 1st November 2018)

A new campaign has launched to help the emergency workers being verbally abused, spat at, bitten and even sexually assaulted in Cornwall.

Thousands of blue light workers are attacked across the south west each year.

Now #Unacceptable is highlighting the number of assaults staff face whilst on duty.

Police, ambulance, fire and healthcare staff are regularly subjected to attacks including serious injury, verbal abuse, spitting and biting, and even sexual assault from those they are trying to help.

Based on previous twelve-month figures, by the end of this year, over 1,400 police officers from Devon & Cornwall Police, Dorset Police and Avon & Somerset Police would have been assaulted while carrying out duties to keep the peace within their local communities. Almost 500 of those will be across Cornwall and Devon.

South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (SWASFT) reported 1,049 assaults on their staff between January and December 2017, which is an increase of 97 reports on the previous 12 months.

Sadly, however, it is thought that these figures do not represent the entirety of assaults, as many are never reported by the victims.

Emergency services personnel from across the region have been sharing their experiences...

 

 

"Our officers and staff, along with other emergency services colleagues, demonstrate commitment, courage and dedication on a daily basis.

"They signed up to helping and protecting the public, not coming into work each day with the risk of being assaulted.

"The impact this can have on them, their colleagues and their families can have lasting effects long after physical scars have healed.

"Together, the emergency services want to ensure our personnel can deliver the best possible service to our communities; but in order to do this we need injury-free and healthy work forces.

"We will not tolerate assaults on our emergency services and will seek to bring criminal proceedings against offenders.

"I welcome the new law to double the maximum sentence from six months to 12 months for assaulting an emergency services worker."

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Davies on behalf of Devon & Cornwall Police

Campaign goal - #Goal999

The goal of the campaign is to keep emergency services personnel safe by raising public awareness and reducing the number of assaults while on duty.

The #Goal999 social media challenge encourages supporters and members of the public to post photographs or videos of their most creative goal, using the hashtags #Goal999 and #Unacceptable.

When they post their entry, they can nominate friends and family to share their goals too.

Goals don't have to be sport-based, they can include anything positive; whether that be climbing a mountain, painting a landscape or growing vegetables.

The winner of the 'most creative' goal could scoop an early Christmas present in the form of a signed shirt by the Exeter Chiefs or Exeter City Football Club.

Find out more here.

 

 

"Like all our emergency services colleagues, our crews and control staff work in extremely difficult circumstances and are often under threat of attack or abuse.

"This is totally unacceptable and we will take whatever action is necessary to ensure that our staff are protected and those responsible for such attacks are prosecuted.

"We are very proud to be part of this important campaign and hope that together we can make a significant impact in reducing the number of assaults on our staff so that they can continue to provide an excellent service to the public without fear of attack or abuse."

Ken Wenman, of Chief Executive SWASFT

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