EMERGENCY workers in Hampshire have been assaulted hundreds of times since 2020, figures show. 

The figures recorded by Hampshire Constabulary reveal there were 266 attacks on emergency workers, not including police, between March 2020 and the end of 2022. 

Of these assaults, 147 took place in 2022, and 108 in 2021, with the remainder taking place from early 2020 onwards.

Since 2020 police forces have been recording a new category of crime - assaults without injury on emergency workers.

The offence applies to attacks on 'blue light' workers, such as paramedics and firefighters. 

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Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust (HHFT), which runs Basingstoke, Andover and Winchester hospitals, stated that in 2022, there had been 358 reports of assault on its staff members. 

As a result, its has joined forces with the Hampshire police on 'Operation Cavell' to strengthen the processes when an incident takes place. 

Andy Hyett, chief operating officer at HHFT, said: “No one should experience violence, abuse or intimidation at work. Unfortunately, it happens all too often for many of our colleagues.

“Incidents are reported and staff work closely with the security team to establish any necessary next steps to keep our staff safe, including safely managing patients who still need hospital care. Each event is carefully reviewed to understand trends and identify future actions such as further training.

“In all cases, colleagues are encouraged to use Operation Cavell and are offered well-being support. Our priority is providing a safe environment for our staff who work so hard to care for our patients and keep our hospitals running”

The 2018 Assaults on Emergency Workers Bill came into law, imposing a maximum prison sentence of one year for common assault on an emergency worker – a sentence that was doubled in 2022.

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Over the past few years, 30 per cent of these crimes in Hampshire resulted in a charge.

Rob Cole, assistant director at Hampshire fire service, said: "Our job is to protect our communities and keep the public safe. 

“Firefighters responding to 999 calls should not have to worry about dealing with aggressive members of the public and certainly should not be subjected to assaults as they carry out their life-saving work. 

“We will not tolerate such behaviour and will report any such incidents to our police colleagues.”