Tougher action is needed for people who attack paramedics

There are currently more than 2500 '˜red flagged' addresses in Scotland which ambulance crews are prevented from entering due to safety fears.

Paramedics are only allowed to respond to emergency 999 calls at these addresses if they are accompanied by a police officer.

Freedom of Information request submitted by the Conservatives shows Lanarkshire is among the top three worst affected areas, behind only Glasgow and the Lothians.

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With 216 addresses in Lanarkshire where emergency responders may be unable to provide treatment, the figures shed light on the challenges faced by paramedics.

Central Scotland list MSP Margaret Mitchell said: “Every person has the right to be able to go to work and carry out their role without fear or violence and intimidation.

“Lanarkshire’s emergency response teams provide a vital life-saving role across the region. It is therefore totally unacceptable that those who have dedicated their lives to helping others are often treated with such contempt.

“The fact that Lanarkshire has some of the highest rates of ‘red-flagged’ homes in Scotland is particularly sad when we have some of the best NHS personnel in the country.

“Our courts should be doing more to protect NHS staff and people who assault or intimidate emergency personnel must now face tougher action.”