A NORTH-EAST MP has led a debate in Parliament to ensure more protection is given to emergency service workers from assault after a 50 per cent rise in cases.
The debate comes after there has been a rise in assaults on emergency service workers in the Cleveland area.
Matt Vickers, who consulted with Cleveland Police, was made aware that in 2019 to October there there were 440 assaults on emergency service workers.
This year the figure has risen by more than 50 per cent to 662 assaults on emergency service workers.
Similarly, between October 1, 2019, and October 2020, there were 571 assaults on officers and six on police staff at Durham Constabulary
As a result, Mr Vickers, MP for Stockton South, led a debate in parliament on Wednesday for more protection for emergency service workers and tougher sentencing for those who attack emergency service workers.
The protections also include increased access to Taser training and high spec body-worn cameras for all emergency workers.
Mr Vickers is also set to address the PC Harper case that is currently before the court of appeal.
He said: “The pandemic has reminded everyone of the important role our emergency workers play in protecting, defending and saving lives, from doctors to nurses.
“Police officers, paramedics, fire service personnel and everyone else on the frontline have served with fortitude and commitment during these unprecedented times.
“While the country retreated to the safety of our own homes our emergency service workers have rolled up their sleeves to protect and save lives."
Steve Graham, assistant chief constable at Cleveland Police, said: “Our police officers and staff should not be subjected to assaults of any kind, they have family members at home waiting for them and often risk their own lives to protect others.
“Even during this pandemic, our workforce has faced being coughed at, spat at, and been physically injured.
"Like people living in our communities, our staff are having to deal with the personal impact of Covid-19, and whilst assaults at any time are unacceptable, to have them increase during this uncertain time impacts their wellbeing.
“I know that the large majority of people are grateful for our work, and the random acts of kindness have been wonderful – but the flip side are these damaging assaults which shake the morale of people working on the frontline.”
On Thursday night, a gang of youths threw fireworks at emergency workers after they responded to calls of Bonfire Night disorder, at High Newham Road, Hardwick.
Cleveland Police said on social media: “We’re dealing with a large crowd of youths on High Newham Road in Stockton who are throwing fireworks.
“We have made arrests. Our officers and Cleveland Fire Brigade have enough to deal with during this pandemic without having missiles thrown.
In response, Mr Vickers said: “It is completely unacceptable, our emergency service workers are working around the clock to keep us safe during this pandemic.These thugs are a disgrace.”