Cumbrian firefighters have attacked or abused dozens of times in a decade

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CUMBRIA firefighters have been assaulted or verbally assaulted dozens of times in just over a decade, according to the figures.

At least 8,600 attacks have been recorded by firefighters across England since 2010-11 – and more than 500 firefighters have been injured as a result.

Home Office statistics show that teams from the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service were at the center of 44 of these incidents, with four attacks recorded by the fire service in the year to March.

In view of the figures, the police chiefs have pledged to use all the force of the law against those who subject the rescuers to “deplorable” attacks.

Since recording began just over a decade ago, two Cumbria firefighters have been physically injured in attacks.

During this period, crews were subjected to six incidents of physical violence, had objects thrown at them eight times, were verbally abused 24 times, and faced at least six other aggressive incidents.

Although firefighters have seen fewer incidents and fires in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, attacks have increased nationwide, with 934 recorded across England in 2020-2021 against 899 the previous year.

And the actual figures could be higher, as those reported only reflect assaults suffered during operational incidents and do not take into account the abuses that have taken place in or around fire stations or when crews are carrying out fireworks. fire prevention, for example.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Union of Fire Fighters, said: “Any attack on firefighters – who provide a humanitarian service – is something to be deplored.

“It is essential that the fire and rescue services provide appropriate support to firefighters who are subjected to such attacks, including taking into account the mental health effects of these incidents and being understanding about time off. disease. ”

Verbal violence is the most common type of attack recorded nationwide, accounting for 57% of incidents recorded by fire departments since 2010-11.

About a quarter of the incidents involved objects thrown at firefighters, while 5% were physical attacks.

A spokesperson for the National Council of Chiefs of Police said it was never acceptable for anyone to be assaulted or injured for doing their job.

He added: “Last year the maximum prison sentence for attacking rescue workers was doubled.

“This sent a clear message that society will not tolerate abuse by our rescuers.

“We will use the full force of the law to prosecute anyone who uses violence against those on the front lines. ”

Deputy Fire Chief Brian Steadman said: “The safety of our firefighters is our number one priority and the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service will not accept any type of violence against our staff.”

“It is appalling that a firefighter was injured while working in his community. Violence against any emergency service worker should not be tolerated.

“We are here to serve and protect, we want to help people and be part of the community.”


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