The startling facts
Police, ambulance, fire and healthcare staff are regularly subjected to assaults on a daily basis. These include serious injury, verbal abuse, spitting and biting and even sexual assault from those they are trying to help.
Based on previous twelve-month figures; by the end of 2018, over 1,400 emergency services workers from Devon & Cornwall Police, Dorset Police and Avon & Somerset Police would have been assaulted while carrying out their duties to keep the peace within their local communities.
Sadly, however, it is thought these figures do not represent the entirety of assaults, as many are never reported by the victims.
Working together to protect our emergency services
We have worked with our fellow blue light services from across the South West to develop a campaign: #Unacceptable to help achieve our goal of protecting emergency services workers.
Campaign goal – #Goal999 – please get involved
Our goal is to have zero assaults on emergency services workers. In support of this, and with the backing of the Exeter Chiefs and Exeter City Football Club, the #Goal999 social media challenge encourages supporters and members of the public to post photographs or videos of their most creative goal.
We encourage members of the public to share their ‘goal’ in a light-hearted way in support of the #Unacceptable campaign.
- Film your goal and nominate two friends
- Post your goal on Twitter with the hashtag #Goal999 or to the dedicated Facebook page
Feeling creative? Goals don’t have to be sport-based, they can include anything positive; whether that be climbing a mountain, painting a landscape or growing vegetables. All the videos posted will be judged and a prize will be awarded to the two most creative goals. The winner of the ‘most creative’ goal could scoop a signed shirt by the Exeter Chiefs or Exeter City Football Club.
The deadline for entries is Friday 16 August 2019.
Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018
A change in law came into effect on 13 September 2018. The summary of the Act is:
To make provision about offences when perpetrated against emergency workers, and persons assisting such workers; to make certain offences aggravated when perpetrated against such workers in the exercise of their duty; to require persons suspected of certain assaults against such workers which may pose a health risk to provide intimate samples and to make it an offence, without reasonable excuse, to refuse to provide such samples; and for connected purposes.
The sentence is a maximum of 12 months.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Davies said:
“Our officers and staff, along with other emergency services colleagues, demonstrate commitment, courage and dedication on a daily basis. They signed up to helping and protecting the public, not coming into work each day with the risk of being assaulted. The impact this can have on them, their colleagues and their families can have lasting effects long after physical scars have healed.
"Together, we want to ensure our officers and staff can deliver the best possible service to our communities; but in order to do this we need an injury-free and healthy work force. We will not tolerate assaults on our emergency services and will seek to bring criminal proceedings against offenders.“