A frontline veteran paramedic has told Emergency-Services.News about their dread at the thought of the pubs, bars and clubs re-opening following the three-month lockdown.
Although the government has yet set no date, many people think that the hospitality sector will start to re-open at the beginning of July.
Although incidences of violent disorder, related to alcohol, have decreased significantly over the past three months, domestic incidents have increased.
But the paramedic we spoke to told us that they were ‘dreading’ the pubs, bars and clubs re-opening owing to the ‘inevitable’ return of emergency services personnel being ‘assaulted, spat at and abused simply for helping drunk people who do not know, or do not care, about their limits’.
The paramedic told us that many of their colleagues had appreciated the respite from the violence which they are often exposed to as a result of alcohol and drug-fuelled violence.
Many emergency workers are expecting that there will be a massive spike in drug/alcohol-related crime – especially violence – when the bars, clubs and pubs re-open as people unwind after having been in relative isolation for the last three months.
The paramedic we spoke to has urged the government to make sure that pubs, bars and clubs are opened in a ‘measured’ way to avoid a spike in alcohol/drug-related crime.
They added: “We (in the emergency services) all know that when the pubs re-open, that there is going to be a massive spike in calls relating to violence.
“People are frustrated and angry and, yet again, the emergency services are going to end up taking the brunt.
“If the pubs, bars and clubs are all re-opened at the same time, then we expect that every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night will be like New Year’s Eve (traditionally the busiest night of the year for the emergency services), with a tsunami of 999 calls flooding emergency operations rooms around the country with incidents related to people drinking too much.
They added: “The government should be thinking about this now. Before it is too late.”
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