Concern raised over new figures outlining attacks on north-east paramedics
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Ambulance workers in Grampian reported being attacked more than 90 times while on duty over the past five years, according to new figures.
The Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) revealed 93 assaults, including those of a sexual nature, were recorded between the beginning of 2018 and the end of last year.
Although the number of reports dropped during the Covid lockdowns of 2020, 23 attacks were committed against paramedics the next year, when many restrictions were still in place.
The adjacent Tayside health board area also saw a spike in attacks in 2021 – 16 of its 70 reports over the five years addressed.
Tess White, North East region MSP and Scottish Conservative shadow public health spokesperson, said she will raise the subject at the Scottish Parliament.
She said: “Assaults on emergency workers are never acceptable in our society, and attacking ambulance crews should be considered a serious crime.
“The Scottish Ambulance Service is under enough pressure and its employees should not face any threat while trying to help people.
“I do worry that attackers think they can get away with it, because they know it’s very unlikely they’ll get a custodial sentence.
“The challenges posed by Covid-19 intensified these issues for emergency workers.
“That’s why it’s so shocking to see such a spike in attacks for 2021, when many Covid restrictions were still in place, and all our health workers were trying their best to save lives.”