WEST Midlands ambulance service are calling for tougher penalties to be imposed on people who assault their staff.
Frontline employees have had to endure an onslaught of attacks over the last six months which have seen them spat at, kicked and punched.
Some have even had knives pointed at them and received death threats.
Figures revealed at the Trust’s board meeting showed that for the first six months of 2015 (April to September), the number of physical assaults on staff rose by almost 30 per cent to a 139 incidents.
Following the trend, the number of verbal assaults rose by 13 per cent to 246 incidents.
On the back of such statistics, Anthony Marsh, Trust chief executive, is to write to the Chairs of Magistrates Benches across the Region, asking them to take the toughest possible action against members of the public who assault Trust staff.
He said: “It is quite outrageous that our employees are having to put up with such violence. The Board is determined that we should do everything possible to protect our staff.
“We are asking them to support us by taking the toughest possible action – we know the public abhor this violence so we are hopeful that they will support this move.”
It’s a stance that Steve Elliker, regional security manager, supports.
He added that the penalties handed down are simply not sufficient to deter people.
“We need sentences to be a deterrent so that people think twice before they attack employees,” he said. “The fact that some of our staff do not report cases of violence because they do not believe that enough action will be taken against the perpetrator is a sad reflection on how they feel.
“We are working hard to change that perception but we want the courts to support us 100 per cent so that this dreadful situation can be changed for the better.”