1. ITV Report

South Western Ambulance calls time on abuse and violence against staff

Emergency services across the South West are drawing attention to a rise in violence and abuse towards their staff through the campaign #Unacceptable Credit: ITV West Country

There were more than 50 recorded incidents of violent or aggressive behaviour towards members of South Western Ambulance service during the Easter holidays.

It was a hugely busy period for paramedics, with over 11,000 incidents over the Bank Holiday weekend alone. That's a 10% rise on 2018.

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Natalie took that call. The man on the other end of the phone was prosecuted, fined and had to pay her compensation but it certainly wasn't an isolated case.

I've had people threaten to find me, stamp on my face, stab me, slit our throats, find our family and hurt our family. It happens near enough daily now to us. I don't think people realise how vile some people can be when we're just trying to help.

– Natalie, Call Handler
Ambulance staff pledge to make a stand against violent behaviour Credit: ITV West Country

Unfortunately it's not just call handlers who have similar stories to tell and abusive incidents like these ultimately stand in the way of providing care to the patient.

Violence against emergency services across the South West have been on the increase for some time.

Officers are now drawing attention to the rise in violence and abuse towards their staff through the campaign #Unacceptable.