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Paramedics to be fitted with body cameras to help curb attacks on frontline workers | UK News

Paramedics must be given body cameras after thousands of attacks on staff were reported last year.

Tests showed the devices reduced violence against paramedics, who also felt safer if they had something to record with.

NHS Data from England showed 3,569 paramedics reported being assaulted in 2020 and 2021 – a 32% increase from five years earlier.

The devices will be handed over to workers at 10 NHS trusts in England, three years ahead of the target date.

Cameras will be turned on at the push of a button and footage may be made available to police under certain circumstances.

Testing of the program took place in London and with North East Ambulance Service.

Gary Watson works as a member of the Emergency Ambulance Team for the London Ambulance Service in Croydon and has participated in the trials.

He was attacked in 2018 while working, suffering from torn ligaments as well as serious injuries to his face, throat and neck.

Gary Watson Ambulance Team Member
Ambulance team member Gary Watson was attacked in 2018

Two of his colleagues were also injured and a fourth was shaken.

Following the incident, a man was convicted and given a suspended sentence.

Mr Watson said: “These cameras are necessary, and wearing one makes me feel more secure. They are a deterrent and will also help provide evidence in the event of an attack.

“We are going to work to help people, not to be assaulted. It is disgusting that a minority thinks it is normal to behave in such a violent way.”

Minister of State for Health and Social Affairs Nadine Dorries said: “The violence and abuse against our staff is absolutely heinous. The NHS and social service staff have worked tirelessly to protect us throughout the pandemic, and they deserve our full support and protection.

“I am happy that the NHS is deploying these body cameras sooner than planned, as they have been shown to reduce incidents, increase staff’s sense of security and can help get violent offenders to…

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This notice was published: 2021-06-01 20:49:00

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