Body cameras introduced for ambulance workers in the UK

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TO combat the amount of assaults on ambulance workers in the UK, body cameras have been introduced.

GMB, the union for ambulance service workers, has called on the UK government to adopt a Zero-tolerance approach to violence and abuse against emergency service workers.  

A report from 5 news released yesterday revealed that during the pandemic year (March 2020 to April 2021) there were over 10,000 incidents of violence and aggression, including physical and verbal assaults on ambulance staff.

close up ambulance| Uk and World
There were over 10,000 incidents of violence and aggression, including physical and verbal assaults on ambulance staff during Covid (Photo from Super Straho on Unsplash)

This is up 12% from the previous 12 months in 19/20, where there were 9,253 incidents recorded.

The union has praised the move to introduce body cameras as a ‘step forward’, but have underlined their belief that without repercussions for perpetrators, Ambulance workers are still at risk of being attacked.

Rachel Harrison, GMB national officer said:”The introduction of body cameras is a welcome step to protect our Ambulance members from violence and abuse.

“However, body cameras alone will not be sufficient to keep our members out of harms way.

“Without prosecutions and sentencing for those who attack our emergency service workers, the assaults will continue.

“GMB calls for a zero tolerance approach to assaults. Without repercussions and prosecutions, certain individuals will continue to attack our members.

ambulance with landscape | Uk and World
In 2018 GMB released it’s ‘In Harms Way Report’ which revealed attacks on ambulance workers averaged more than eight (8.2) every single day(Photo from Ray Harrington on Unsplash)

This is not just a problem in England however, with research from Glasgow Live showing that ambulance service workers in Scotland were assaulted 269 times in 2018/19.

the same research indicated that Ambulance staff in Scotland are attacked five times every week on average.

Statistics reveled from Freedom of Information powers indicates that were over 250 assaults on ambulance crews over Scotland since April last year despite being in a pandemic.