Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 15:56 UK

Stones thrown at ambulance crew

The youths threw stones as the ambulance passed under a bridge

Youths who threw stones at a passing ambulance have been condemned for putting lives at risk.

The emergency crew were returning to Denbigh ambulance station in Denbighshire when they were attacked as they drove under a bridge at St Asaph.

The vehicle's windscreen was damaged and the crew were "shaken up" after the incident at 1250 BST last Friday.

Health Minister Edwina Hart said: "This could have endangered lives." Police have appealed for information.

The ambulance crew were driving back to their base from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Rhyl as the youths were crossing a bridge next to a bowling green.

In her statement, Ms Hart said the crew were "shaken up by the incident" but returned to the station safely.

She said: "I was dismayed when I was told about this incident.

"This sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable and must not be tolerated. This incident could have harmed paramedics and any patients they were caring for.

It is lucky that this one was not on blue lights heading towards an emergency as lives could have been put at risk
Jason Williams

"Thankfully no patients were on board at the time, but the attackers had no way of knowing that."

Ms Hart, who this month signed a deal for violence against NHS staff to be more fully investigated, said she was "pleased" the incident had been reported the police.

She added: "Next week, I will announce more details on piloting the use of CCTV cameras to deter people from violence and aggression against NHS staff in an effort to stop such mindless behaviour which shows a total disregard for the safety of others."

Locality ambulance officer Jason Williams said: "We uphold a zero tolerance approach to acts of violence and aggression against our staff and other NHS employees while they are on duty from all ages.

"Our ambulance crews are there to serve the community.

"They do not need to be obstructed in their duty by unprovoked incidents such as this. It is lucky that this one was not on blue lights heading towards an emergency as lives could have been put at risk."

North Wales Police has appealed for anyone who witnessed the incident to contact them.

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