The capital’s ambulance service has been urged to do more to protect front-line from assaults after new figures revealed up to four ambulance workers are attacked each day in the capital.
Between 2010 and 2013 staff endured a total of 4,017 assaults – including being physically attacked, threatened and spat on – with official statistics suggesting the number of incidents is rising.
London Assembly Member Roger Evans, who obtained the figures under Freedom of Information laws, says staff should be equipped with body-worn cameras to act as a deterrent and make prosecuting culprits easier.
In a report published on Monday, Mr Evans suggests a trial of 200 cameras would cost less than the annual sick bill caused by injuries sustained on duty.
He said: “Ambulance crews spend every day responding to emergencies, protecting Londoners and saving lives.
“They are real heroes and we need to treat them with huge respect. Sadly, I’ve uncovered figures which show that abuse, threats and physical attacks against these people are on the rise.”
However his suggestion has been dismissed by ambulance bosses on the grounds of “patient confidentiality” and fears that it would undermine trust between crews and patients.
Director of Operations Jason Killens said: “For us as an ambulance service in London and the particular challenges that brings, we believed that cameras on our crews or ambulances would undermine that trust.”
Killens added: “However, we will continue to review how we protect our staff going forward.”