Figures released today show the scale of the verbal and physical violence directed at emergency services staff in the Capital.
So far this year, 346 physical attacks have been recorded against ambulance crews in the Capital – around ten a week.
There were 499 cases of threats and verbal abuse aimed at medics and 999 and 111-call handlers over the same period.
The London Ambulance Service staff surveys suggests however, that these figures underestimate the full scale of the problem due to under-reporting.
Over the last twelve months, officers in the Metropolitan Police have seen 5,606 assaults while last year London Fire Brigade saw 91 attacks.
Garrett Emmerson, Chief Executive of London Ambulance Service, said:
“As the busiest ambulance service in the country, responding to more than 1.2 million incidents a year, our staff work tirelessly to care for Londoners.
“Sadly, whilst the vast majority of patients and callers treat our staff with the utmost respect, a small minority do not”.
A campaign called the ‘Awesome Movement Day’ has been launched to try and deter people from committing acts of violence against the emergency services.
The Awesome Movement was formed in 2018 after the founder was outraged to see media stories on abusive notes left on ambulances attending emergencies.
He decided that public attitudes had to change and more needed to be done to make sure emergency service staff were valued.
Michael Howard, the founder of the Awesome Movement, said:
“The Awesome Movement is celebrating the heroes of our emergency services who are there for us in our times of need.
“They do a difficult, stressful job sometimes in the face of personal danger, violence, and verbal abuse.
“They are awesome, and they deserve our thanks.
“We hope people will join us in showing their appreciation however they can – whether it’s a note of gratitude on the windscreen of their vehicle or just stopping them in the street to say ‘thank you’.
Talking about the Movement, Mr Emmerson said:
“We welcome the Awesome Movement drawing attention to this issue and hope the public will join in thanking the emergency services today and showing appreciation for the vital jobs they do.”
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson, from the Metropolitan Police Service, said:
“Sadly, attacks on police officers and emergency services colleagues are becoming more and more prevalent and under no circumstances should be tolerated or become the norm.
“Met officers come to work every day to protect Londoners and those visiting and put themselves in dangerous and tricky situations to protect the public.
“They do not, and should not, expect to go home to their families suffering from a range of injuries.
“We know that the majority of the public and Londoners support their officers and are extremely grateful for all that we do.
“We welcome the opportunity to remind everyone that a small thing, such as a wave or a thank you, goes a long way in helping make an officers day and we welcome the public having those positive engagements with us.”
London Fire Brigade Assistant Commissioner for Fire Stations, Andy Roe said:
“Sadly, firefighters and control staff are still sometimes verbally or physically assaulted while carrying out their jobs in helping Londoners.
“These senseless acts have potentially life-threatening consequences not only for our firefighters but also those we’re trying to reach.
“If you see us out and about in your community give us a wave and show your support for the amazing emergency services you have protecting this great city.”
Before you go...
We need your help. As former emergency services & armed forces personnel, we pride ourselves on bringing you important, fast-moving and breaking news stories & videos which are free from the negative bias which is often directed at the emergency services & NHS by some sections of the mainstream media.
One of the reasons we started 'Emergency Services News' back in 2018 was because we became tired of reading badly informed stories about the emergency services & NHS which seemed only ever to highlight negative aspects of the job.
We want to be the unheard voice of the remarkable men and women who serve in the emergency services, NHS and armed forces. And with around 500k page views each month, we are getting there!
As income from ads, the mainstay source of income for most publishers, continues to decline; we need the help of you, our readers.
You can support emergency services news from as little as £1. It only takes a minute. Every contribution, however big or small, is vital for our future.
Please help us to continue to highlight the life-saving work of the emergency services, NHS and armed forces by becoming a supporter.