26th May 2020
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Ambulance crews need police protection at five addresses

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Police protection may be sought by Scottish Ambulance Service crews when they attend five addresses in Shetland, according to figures released following a freedom of information request.

Individual addresses where there have been previous incidents of violence or threatening behaviour towards staff are flagged up in ambulance control rooms.

That allows staff to identify when ambulance crews may be at risk and request additional police support if required.

The figures for Shetland are a very small portion of the Scotland-wide statistics, which reaches a grand total of 3,574.

A statement listed at the end of the freedom of information response from the ambulance service reads: “The safety of ambulance staff is paramount, which is why the service takes appropriate measures to protect them.

“As one of a number of protective measures, individual addresses where there have been previous incidents of violence or threatening behaviour towards staff are flagged in control rooms.

“This means that if a 999 call comes in from a flagged address, dispatchers can identify that staff may be at risk and request additional support, from the police, if required.

“As flagged addresses change due to changes in people’s living arrangements or the use or purpose of a building; then any figures which are provided are a snapshot in time. We do not hold historical data on flagged addresses, but monitor and review them on an ongoing basis.”

The statement explains that ambulance crews are given training in management of aggression and how to undertake a full risk assessment on arrival at scene to establish if there is any potential danger.

“If any crews feel that their safety may be compromised, they are instructed to hold nearby the scene and await support from the police, or additional ambulance crews,” the statement adds.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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