Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act prosecutions in Dundee and Tayside

08 September 2009

15 people have been successfully prosecuted in Dundee and 19 overall in Tayside under the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act 2005, in the latest available year, according to an answer to a parliamentary Question raised by Marlyn Glen.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill told her that in 2007-08, 5 of the successful prosecutions in the city came under Section 2(1) of the Act, referring to assaulting or impeding certain emergency workers responding to emergency circumstances.

A further 10 successful prosecutions came under Section 5(1) of the Act which applies only to incidents that occur "in a hospital or on land adjacent to and used wholly or mainly for the purposes of a hospital".

The Act makes it a specific offence to assault, obstruct or hinder someone providing an emergency service - or someone assisting an emergency worker in an emergency situation.

It covers a wide range of occupations such as police, fire and ambulance staff, doctors, nurses and midwives in hospitals.

Police, fire and ambulance workers and medical staff in hospitals are covered whenever they are on duty, as well as when they are actually dealing with emergencies.

Ms. Glen said,

"Work-related irresponsible behaviour should never be regarded as an ‘ occupational hazard’.

"This is particularly so for emergency staff who have the right to carry out their life-saving work without the threat of aggression, obstruction or abuse."

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