Scots firefighters attacked 124 times in two years

Firefighters had objects thrown at them on 63 occasions. Picture: Hemedia
Firefighters had objects thrown at them on 63 occasions. Picture: Hemedia
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FIREFIGHTERS have been attacked on more than 100 occasions over the past two years, new figures show.

A total of 124 assaults against Scottish Fire and Rescue Service personnel were recorded in the year 2013/14 and in 2014/15 up to October 30.

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Objects were thrown at fire service staff on 63 occasions, verbal abuse was recorded 42 times and there were 17 incidents of physical abuse.

The figures were obtained by the Liberal Democrats through freedom of information legislation.

The party’s justice spokeswoman Alison McInnes MSP said: “It is shocking that our firefighters are having deal with violent assaults in their day-to-day work. Their job protecting communities across Scotland is dangerous enough without having to defend themselves against these selfish acts of violence committed by a minority of individuals.

“These attacks do not just upset the lives of firefighters and their families - they hamper the abilities of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to serve communities effectively.

“Many will agree that these figures are a national shame which must not be allowed to pass unchallenged.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Our firefighters do a remarkable job in very challenging circumstances, often putting themselves in danger to protect the public.

“We simply will not tolerate such attacks against those who provide such a vital service. That is why there is already protection in place under Scotland’s common law of assault which offers maximum penalties of up to life imprisonment and unlimited fines.

“This gives the police, prosecutors and courts the tools to ensure those who attack public facing workers can be dealt with appropriately and effectively.

“More people than ever before are being convicted under the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act 2005 with the penalty up to 12 months imprisonment, a £10,000 fine or both and more and justice agencies are also taking tough action against attacks on council staff and other public facing workers using the laws we already have in place.”

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