Service supports campaign against assaults on frontline staff



Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is proudly supporting a campaign launched this week (30 April) against assaults on frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Are you with us or against us?’ is the question being posed by key workers from across Nottinghamshire in a direct message to the communities they serve, following a spate of over 60 incidents where frontline workers have been coughed on or spat at while on the frontline of dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

The video appeal features doctors, nurses, paramedics, police officers, prison officers, firefighters and other frontline workers from across the county.

Nottinghamshire Police has so far investigated 61 incidents of key workers being coughed on or spat at during the five-week period from Friday 20 March – just before the nationwide lockdown began – to Monday 27 April.

So far, 33 people have been charged in connection with the assaults and a number of people have already been convicted.

Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “The vast majority of the public are pulling together and are doing everything they can to follow the government advice to stay at home and help save lives.

“Throughout this time, key workers in the NHS, fire service, police and other essential public services have been selflessly putting themselves in harm’s way and spending precious time away from their loved ones to protect the communities they serve.

“These assaults – which have included frontline staff being coughed on, spat at and violently assaulted – have been committed at a time when they are working hard to protect the public they are proud to serve.

“I find it abhorrent that anyone would ever think to spit or cough at an emergency worker and my message to those essential key workers is clear that Nottinghamshire Police, their fellow keyworkers and the majority of the Nottinghamshire are right behind you as we work to defeat the virus together.”

The coughing and spitting assaults have continued during the lockdown, with a number of offenders maliciously claiming to have contracted the virus before committing the assaults.

The video message has been launched on social media and in the press.

Chief Fire Officer John Buckley said: “We are proud as a Service to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow key workers and take a zero-tolerance approach to assaults on frontline staff.

“No member of the emergency services or wider public sector should have to endure offense and disrespect when carrying out their duties, particularly when their sole aim is to help people – and especially in such trying circumstances as we all currently find ourselves in.

“We will continue to serve our communities in the best way we can, and work as part of a co-ordinated effort to get through this crisis.”


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