Huge rise in addresses too dangerous for paramedics to visit alone
THE number of “no-go” addresses which ambulance crews will not visit without police protection has increased by more than 550%.
Recent figures show that more than 2,800 addresses across Scotland have been “red-flagged” – meaning that ambulance staff must wait for a police escort before attending a 999 call out.
Addresses are added to the list after emergency service workers are threatened or attacked on previous calls.
The figures were gained through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS).
They revealed that across Scotland there were “violence warnings” against 2,846 addresses.
The figures are up from 437 in 2012 – an increase of more than 550%.
The documents provided also revealed the areas with the most adresses with violence warnings marked against them.
Greater Glasgow was the top of the table – with 808 of such red-flagged addresses in the area – up from 125 in 2012.
Lothian came second – with 470 violent addresses on the ambulance database – up from just 86 in 2012.
And Lanarkshire was third in the stakes – with 295 addresses marked unsafe in the area, up from 34 in 2012.
The Northern and Western Isles tied in last place – both home to just five addresses with violence warnings made against them.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said: “Front-line ambulance staff do an incredibly important job and they have the right to go about their normal duties without fear of being attacked.
“When someone is convicted of attacking a paramedic, the punishment should be severe enough to make it plainly clear that this will not be tolerated.
“At a time when budgets are constrained, we cannot afford to have ambulances waiting outside no-go addresses. This can also stop other crews from attending other life-threatening emergencies.
“It’s not the first time Scottish Conservatives have raised this but having done so it is surely inexcusable for the SNP to have sat back and allowed the position to deteriorate further while continually boasting of its records on health and crime levels.
“Violence should not be tolerated and the SNP government need to be looking at cracking down on those who attack our front-line emergency workers.”