Hundreds of emergency service and hospital workers are being abused every year on the Fylde coast.
At Blackpool Victoria Hospital, 194 assaults on staff have been logged so far this year, an increase of five compared to the whole of 2016.
And a total of 69 paramedics in the county have also been attacked, the ambulance service revealed, while firefighters have been targeted by missiles, verbal abuse, and violence on 17 occasions.
The ‘abhorrent’ attacks have been widely condemned – with a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach now being taken with offenders.
Chief fire officer at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Chris Kenny (pictured) said: “We use a number of approaches to tackle the problem, ranging from the use of the law to prosecute offenders and provide a deterrent, to community liaison to get across that such behaviour can endanger not just
firefighters but others too if their response to emergencies is compromised.”
Karen Sanderson, security manager at the Victoria Hospital, said the trust encourages staff to report both verbal and physical assaults, and added: “We have a zero tolerance approach to assaults against staff members and want all our staff to feel supported, protected and safe. While the trust takes a
very serious view of attacks on staff, most are carried out without any intent and many occur because of medical conditions.
“The presence of dedicated hospital safety officers, who provide 24 hour cover across the hospital, makes a significant contribution towards a reduced number of security incidents and the officers have been instrumental in providing a safe and secure environment for patients, staff and visitors.”