Shock figures reveal 70 attacks on Tayside ambulance crews in past five years

New figures show some 70 attacks on Tayside ambulance crews have been recorded in the past five years.

Emergency medics have reported 70 assaults while on duty since 2018, the figures show, with 24 incidents across the region recorded during the pandemic alone.

Despite a slight decrease at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the number of attacks doubled from eight to 16 in 2021.

The new figures – obtained through freedom of information laws –  prompted concern from North East MSP Tess White, whose region takes in Dundee and Angus.

Ms White, the Scottish Conservative’s public health spokesperson, said she intends to raise the subject at the Scottish Parliament.

North East MSP Tess White

She told The Courier: “Assaults on emergency workers are never acceptable in our society, and attacking ambulance crews should be considered a serious crime.

“The Scottish Ambulance Service is under enough pressure and its employees should not face any threat while trying to help people.”

Ms White says she is concerned attacked feel they will “get away with it” as they known custodial sentences are unlikely.

She added: “The challenges posed by COVID-19 intensified these issues for emergency workers.

“It is so shocking to see a spike in attacks for 2021”

“That’s why it’s so shocking to see such a spike in attacks for 2021, when many Covid restrictions were still in place, and all our health workers were trying their best to save lives.”

The data comes as separate figures show around 60 attacks on NHS workers on Scotland every day.

Health staff endure the most assaults, while police officers report around 18 incidents every 24 hours.

But the issue extends outside public services, with thousands of retail workers attacked at work every year.

Scottish Government figures show there have been over 500 convictions under the Protection of Workers Act – which makes assaulting, threatening or abusing those working in retail a criminal offence.

In the 11 months leading up to November 2023, there were 2,233 alleged incidents – the equivalent of roughly seven a day.

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