'Unacceptable': South Western Ambulance says attacks on staff during pandemic won't be tolerated

South Western Ambulance paramedics and bosses have condemned ongoing violence and aggression towards the service's teams during the coronavirus pandemic.

A campaign has now been launched labelling the more than 100 such incidents facing paramedics and 999 call handlers 'unacceptable'.

Unfortunately these incidents have continued during the COVID-19 crisis when our staff are working in an extremely challenging environment to protect and save lives.

Ken Wenman, SWASFT Chief Executive

The number of violent & aggressive incidents staff encountered past year.

Violent and aggressive incidents have risen by 16% in the past year. Credit: ITV News

A man was jailed for 20 weeks last week for coughing in a paramedic’s face.

Watch the South Western Ambulance chief's appeal for respect:


The ambulance service is encouraging people to support the #Unacceptable campaign by sharing supportive messages on social media.

Dorset Police has been among the first to chime in with its support.

Our staff are subject to abuse and aggression every day while trying to provide fantastic care to patients. In March we saw a significant increase in aggressive behaviour towards our staff. This is #Unacceptable.”

Jennifer Winslade, SWASFT