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  1. ITV Report

Aggressive behaviour toward ambulance staff rises

Ambulance staff have recently spoken about their experiences Credit: ITV News Anglia

There were more than 600 cases of abusive behaviour towards staff at the East of England Ambulance service last year.

Figures obtained by ITV News Anglia show challenging and aggressive behaviour cases more then doubled compared to the year before.

Verbal abuse cases also went up, with 374 incidents.

The Trust is now launching a 'Don't Choose to Abuse' campaign to highlight the problem and remind people that there is zero tolerance against any form of abuse.

"I had my face spat at twice and my specs were broken."

– Member of ambulance staff

"Two out of every three days, one of our staff is assaulted which clearly is unacceptable. Not only do we see this impacting on our crews on the road, but staff in our 999 centres and our emergency operations centres are frequently verbally abused on the phone which again is completely unacceptable. Every year we are seeing a 10 % increase in the scale of violence and aggression and this is a really worrying trend."

– Chief Executive Robert Morton

The Trust has a zero tolerance approach to violence against staff and works closely with police to prosecute offenders.

374
Cases of verbal abuse or disruption
612
Cases of challenging behaviour or aggressive gesturing

"Serious assault left me with PTSD and anxiety problems."

– Member of ambulance staff

"I was kicked and stamped on which has made me very wary."

– Member of ambulance staff