BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South North Midlands/East West/South-West London/South
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK: England  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 19:55 GMT 20:55 UK
MP wants mercy crews protected
Firefighters
Attacks on emergency services staff are increasing
All emergency services staff should be protected from violent members of the public just as the police are, a Wearside MP has urged.

Labour Sunderland North MP Bill Etherington said it should be a criminal offence "to assault, intimidate or otherwise interfere with emergency services personnel in the execution of their duties".

He introduced a Bill to the House of Commons on Tuesday aimed at giving them "parity" with police.

Even though Mr Etherington's Emergency Services Personnel (Protection) Bill gained its first reading, it is unlikely to become law due to a lack of parliamentary time.

Agecroft Gardens estate in Middlesbrough
Firefighters were attacked on a Middlesbrough estate

Mr Etherington said that in 2001-2 there were 58 attacks on firefighters around the UK.

For the three months since April there had been a further 15 attacks.

The North East Ambulance Service had complained to him as had nursing authorities in the area.

The Cleveland Fire Brigade has come under attack from children as young as three on a housing estate in Middlesbrough.

The 1m Agecroft Gardens complex in Middlesbrough was originally built as apartments for single people.

In recent months the area has become the target of arsonists as young as five who have stoned attending firefighters.

'Violent crime'

Now more than double its building costs are to be spent demolishing the 100-home site.

Mr Etherington told the House of Commons: "Over many years, violence towards public service workers has been escalating.

"We all know that despite the fact that crime in general has reduced in recent years, violent crime has taken the opposite course and is actually increasing."

"Ministers, over many years, had "never seen fit to give the same protection to firefighters, ambulance drivers, medical staff who are involved in this sector, that the police have".

He said legislating against such attacks would get the message over to the public that such violence would not be tolerated.


Click here to go to BBC Tees
See also:

09 Jul 02 | England
19 Jun 02 | England
28 Mar 02 | England
05 Oct 01 | England
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes