· 4 frontline ambulance workers attacked, threatened, and spat on every day
· Physical assaults on crews up by 23% in the Capital
· Body-worn cameras would help cut thousands of cases of abuse across NHS – London Ambulance should lead trials
· Cameras would protect paramedics and responders – London pilot would cost less than one year’s annual £125k sick bill caused by violence

Four frontline ambulance workers are attacked every day in London, according to a new report Paramedics in Peril. FOI figures, uncovered for the report, reveal a total of 4,017 violent incidents between 2011 and 2013 – common occurrences include assaults, verbal threats and spitting. Three in ten incidents (1,232) are physical attacks, which are on the increase. 2013 alone saw 582 assaults – a 23% rise on the year before.

The report calls for an initial London-wide pilot of 100 body-worn cameras for frontline workers – which would be a first for the UK – and a further 100 CCTV cameras for ambulance vehicles. The trial of 200 cameras would act as a visible deterrent and is estimated to cost £106k*, less than just one year of the ambulance’s annual £125k sick bill caused by injury.


Author of the report, GLA Conservatives crime spokesman, Roger Evans said:

Roger-opinion“This report is the latest in my campaign to protect frontline workers from attack and injury while on duty. Ambulance crews spend every day responding to emergencies, protecting Londoners and saving lives. They are real heroes and we need to treat them with huge respect. Sadly, I’ve uncovered figures which show that abuse, threats and physical attacks against these people are on the rise. It is a disgrace to hear of cases where front line staff are having their fingers savagely bitten by drunks and attacked with fence posts. Body worn CCTV cameras would act as visible deterrents for criminals who think it’s acceptable to abuse our front line emergency crews. Furthermore, video evidence would make it easier to report crimes, avoid disputes and shorten trials. I’m calling on the London Ambulance Service to pilot 200 cameras initially, 100 to be worn by crew members and another hundred for ambulance vehicles. This would protect our crews and cost less than just one year’s annual £125k sick bill caused by violence.”



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Roger’s new report “Paramedics in Peril” is the latest in his campaign
to protect frontline workers from attack and injury in the line of duty.

*The sums
· Staffordshire police preformed a rollout of 550 body-worn cameras at a cost of £660 per camera. A pilot of 100 cameras, if similar technology to the Staffordshire police scheme is used, would cost £66,000. Using a similar pricing system to that of the East Midlands Ambulance Service, a further trial of 100 on-vehicle CCTV systems would cost approximately £40,000 (£400 each including inside and outside cameras and video storage systems). The total cost of the 200 CCTV cameras would therefore be £106,000 – less than the annual £125,700 sick bill caused by injury.


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