Obviously, assaults on emergency workers are unacceptable. That is so obvious as to be trite, but for the avoidance of doubt, that is our starting point. Anything we can do to offer protection to emergency workers should be seriously considered, especially as assaults and abuse of frontline emergency workers throughtout the covid-19 pandemic has continued.
The latest data released by Kent Fire & Rescue Service shows an almost 100% increase of aggression or assault on KFRS frontline staff between Jan 2019 and Nov 2020.
It is not just KFRS staff though who have seen a rise in assaults or aggression towards their staff.
Assaults against police officers in Kent have risen by more than 300 on pre-pandemic levels.
During the course of the Covid-19 outbreak up to October, 1,190 assaults were recorded against police in the county.
That was up by 346 compared to the same period last year, a 40% increase.
And as we reported on Dec 17 abuse and assaults on medical and non-medical staff at EKHUFT continued throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
In Oct 2020, 124 frontline South East Coast Ambulance were also abused or attacked. Some of these attacks suffered by frontline staff were sexual in nature.
No frontline workers should have to suffer an assault or receive verbally abuse in the course of their job.
Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world and although the maximum penalty for assaulting police officers, nurses or any other emergency workers will be increased from one to two years, it would appear this is still not enough of a deterrent.
We thank all emergency frontline staff and key workers for their efforts throughout this pandemic and we ask every resident of Kent to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The Shepway Vox Team
Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful