The emergency services – designed to be there for us in our hour of need, all too often fall victim to abuse and attacks from the people they are trying to help. The culprits, in most cases, are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
According to data from South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAMB), there were 98 reported attacks on paramedics in 2011-12. Just 3 years on, this figure jumped to 126 reported attacks for 2014-15, and rose again last year to a staggering 184.
Although these figures are alarming, it is likely they take in to account only a proportion of the incidents that take place. Paramedics feel dissuaded to report attacks as any pending investigations take them away from performing their duties.
SECAMB Security Manager, Adam Graham said current safety measures included; CCTV, risk assessments and conflict resolution training, but has called for a government-led task force to tackle the problem more thoroughly.
In an example of the violence faced by our ambulance service, paramedic Gemma Fitzgerald suffered a broken jaw whilst trying to help
Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the tragic disappearance of Estate Agent Suzy Lamplugh, who has remained missing ever since.
Suzy, just 25 years old, disappeared on 28th July 1986 whilst out meeting a prospective client in Fulham, South West London. Despite years of leads and investigations, Miss Lamplugh’s body was never found and in 1994, she was officially declared dead, presumably murdered.
It was lunchtime when Suzy left her office to meet ‘Mr Kipper’ who was interested in a property – 37 Shorrolds Road, Fulham – as listed on her employer’s books. But by the end of the working day, when Suzy hadn’t returned, worried colleagues called home to find out her whereabouts. Later that evening, her car was found abandoned, unlocked but no trace of Suzy herself.
It was a crime that shocked the nation. How could a young, professional woman just disappear in a vibrant and busy London suburb in broad daylight? It put into question the safety of those working alone, and not just at night or in secluded or troublesome locations.
The Corporate Manslaughter Act clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies including large organisations where serious failures in the management of health and safety result in a fatality. Under new sentencing guidelines, major companies convicted of Corporate Manslaughter can face fines of up to £20M. Judges will impose fines in relation to the size of the convicted organisation.
In the case of Monavon Construction, a fine of £550,000 was imposed for two counts of Corporate Manslaughter and a breach of their duty to non-employees – the first sentencing since the new guidelines were introduced in February 2016. The organisation pleaded guilty after two men fell to their deaths into a 3.7 metre light well, having only perimeter edge protection, as opposed to fixed metal railings.
Sean Elson of Pinsent Masons law firm explained, “For a much larger company with a turnover exceeding £50M, the guidelines would likely have resulted in multi-million pound fines – possibly 10 times higher than the fine imposed in this case.”
The new guidelines were designed to ensure convicted companies were sentenced in accordance to
If you’ve planned a trip abroad this summer, it’s important that you are aware of how to keep yourself and your belongings safe. Although for the most part foreign travel is perfectly safe, taking precaution when in unfamiliar territory is wise.
Below is Skyguard’s checklist to help you plan for a safe trip abroad.
Preparation is key – Research your destination before you travel, including the Foreign Office’s travel advice website. Take note of local customs and dress and ensure you follow the rules – there may be serious penalties for breaking the law.
Vaccinations – Numerous worldwide destinations require you to be vaccinated so make sure you are adequately immunised before setting off. It’s also vital to insure both yourself and your possessions prior to your trip, carrying with you any supporting documentation.
Do you need a visa? – Some countries also require you to obtain a visa before you enter. Ensure you apply for these well in advance of your planned departure. They can often take several weeks to arrive and you’re likely to be refused
According to research undertaken by Inside Housing magazine in June 2016, one in four social housing workers feel less safe doing their job this year, compared to last year. Focusing on 41 housing associations and 198 Councils across the UK, the survey revealed that 20% of respondents do not believe that their employer does enough to protect them.
Frontline housing workers expressed their concern at the idea of landlords making savings by cutting staff numbers. 35% of respondents said that reducing staff numbers made it increasingly likely that they would work alone.
As outlined by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), housing staff often face difficult or hostile situations, including having to deliver bad news to tenants such as evictions, working late at night, and exposure to potentially violent or aggressive members of the public, such as drug users. Working alone increases the vulnerability of employees performing these tasks.
Alarmingly, the Inside Housing results also revealed that as many as 10 Councils simply do not report or record assaults against housing staff, claiming there is often