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999 workers fight back against attacks

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By Fiona Reid
999 workers fight back against attacks

EMERGENCY and front line services in the region have made a collective vow to reduce attacks of violence and verbal abuse on their staff.

Representatives from Police Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway Council, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Scottish Ambulance Service, Scottish Fire and Rescue and Scottish Prison Service says it’s the beginning of the end for assaults on staff locally.

And they have produced the Dumfries and Galloway Assault Pledge which sets out their commitment and encourages those affected to report any form of abuse and ensures they will be offered the right support.

According to the latest figures released by Police Scotland, a total of 281 assaults were recorded on Dumfries and Galloway’s emergency and front line workers.

Chief Superintendent Carol McGuire said: “Our officers and staff work with dedication and commitment to help people across our communities. It’s not part of their job to accept violence and abuse whilst they carry out those duties. It causes physical and psychological harm and tackling the concerning trend of increasing assaults is a priority for Police Scotland.”

Michael Harmjanz, from the Scottish Ambulance Service in Dumfries and Galloway, said: “Scottish Ambulance Service staff provide a vital service to the public. They work incredibly hard, helping people in need and keeping them safe. They have the right to go about their duties without the fear of attack or abuse and I will fully support Police Scotland and the Procurator Fiscal in the prosecution of those who assault our staff.”

Andy Hunstone, governor at HMP Dumfries, said: “I will not tolerate any form of violence or aggression against staff, partner agencies or individuals in custody.

“HMP Dumfries will promote the use of appropriate behaviours and will challenge and report any incident of violent behaviour to Police Scotland for action. Our aim is to ensure the positive wellbeing and safety of everyone within our establishment.”

And Scottish Fire and Rescue Service area commander Craig McGoldrick added: “Firefighters, and colleagues from other emergency services and partner organisations, deal with difficult and challenging situations every day to protect our local communities.

“It is important that they can carry out their duties as safely as possible. Being subject to physical attacks, verbal abuse or being spat on is wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

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