REVEALED: The '˜blacklisted' areas where ambulance staff need police protection
THERE are 17 addresses in the Portsmouth area where ambulance staff get police assistance when responding to 999 calls, we can reveal.
Paramedics have reported being punched, kicked and even spat at while trying to save lives.
The figures, revealed through a Freedom of Information request, show the postcodes in Portsmouth and the surrounding area which have been ‘blacklisted’ - meaning police are also sent along because paramedics could face a risk of violence.
A paramedic team leader for South Central Ambulance Service, who has recently been assaulted while on duty, said some addresses may be flagged up because or alcohol or drug problems.
They said: ‘There is a combination of factors which make some people more susceptible to violence.
‘We deal with people with drug, alcohol and mental health problems and sometimes a combination of the three.
‘Where alcohol or drugs are concerned, people tend to just see a uniform and not that we are the ambulance service here to help them.’
South Central Ambulance Service spokesman David Gallagher said flags are added to addresses where paramedics are not allowed to enter a house by themselves, and often only with a police presence.
He added: ‘As a responsible employer SCAS takes all steps as far as reasonably practicable to protect its staff from violence and aggression.
‘In addition to carrying out a risk assessment on preventing violence and aggression to staff the Trust provides resolution training to frontline operational staff.
‘When approaching a scene, staff carry out a dynamic risk assessment and if they think that the scene is unsafe they can stand down and request further support from other Trust staff and/or the police.’
Paramedic are also given radios and a panic alarm if they feel they are being threatened and need assistance.
A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said police assist with emergencies on a ‘case by case’ basis, and that flags may also be given out to properties where occupants may have mental health problems or have been repeat victims of crime.
He added: ‘After a risk assessment has been carried out a deployment decision is made and we attend where necessary.
‘Our priority is to ensure the best and most appropriate response to each incident while giving police officers and their colleagues the information they need to perform their duties as safely as they can.’
The ambulance service did not give precise addresses, but said six of the premises concerned were in Portsmouth, two in Fareham, four in Gosport, three in Havant and two in Waterlooville.