Ambulance World Cup warning

Bosses at East of England Ambulance Service are calling on people to 'respect' crews who attend an incident during the World Cup following hundreds of attacks in the last year.

Figures from 2009-10 show that nearly 400 assaults were reported including 110 physical and half of all assaults were alcohol-related.

Neil Storey, associate director for emergency operations, said although no-one would want to discourage people enjoying the World Cup, the trust will not tolerate abuse or violence against its staff.

Mr Storey said: "When you respond to a 999 call, the very last thing you expect is to be repaid with physical or verbal abuse.

"It's unacceptable for anyone to be threatened, but particularly so when attacks are made on our staff who are there to help save lives and give aid to the public.

"All of our staff have the right to carry out their duties without fearing for their safety.

"We encourage staff to report any abuse, and we always pursue prosecution in all cases as far as possible with the police and CPS.

"We understand that watching football matches will generate a party atmosphere and heighten people's emotions - but we don't want any adverse behaviour to get the better of them and impact on the crews when they attend a 999 call."

Steps to stay safe include pre-booking a taxi to and from the venue where people are watching the games.

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