Paramedic assaulted and taken to hospital

SECAMB vehicles SUS-140228-090646001

SECAMB vehicles SUS-140228-090646001

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A paramedic was taken to hospital after being assaulted when he was out on a call in Polegate.

This emerged as the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb), said its staff reported more than 100 physical assaults in 2013-14.

Two weeks ago in Polegate, a SECAmb member of staff was assaulted while attending a call to a teenager suspected of being intoxicated.

The male member of staff suffered injuries including facial injuries and received treatment at Eastbourne District General Hospital.

A man has been released on bail in connection with the assault and is due to appear in court this month.

SECAmb Security Manager Steve Robotham said, “Just one assault against our staff is one too many and ambulance crews must never be made to feel that violence or the threat of violence is just a part of their jobs. We encourage staff to report and take action against anyone who physically attacks or verbally abuses them. Of course the huge majority of patients and members of the public know that this kind of behaviour is deplorable and would never think of hurting someone who is there to save lives and help and serve the community but there are a very small number of individuals who seem to think this is acceptable.

“Now all our vehicles are fitted with CCTV, if an assault takes place in the ambulance, we will have better evidence to pass on to police to take forward a prosecution.”

The total number of reported assaults this year, 113, is just two more than last year, but of these, 91 didn’t involve medical factors – an increase of 26 compared to 2012-13.

SECAmb said it takes any assault or threat of assault seriously. SECAmb said it would take action to prosecute those responsible, with police and the Crown Prosecution Service.