A national pub chain is backing hard-hitting messages from Bedfordshire’s ambulance service as the next bank holiday approaches.
The East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) campaign ‘Don’t Choose to Abuse’ highlights the abuse which staff receive – and consequences for perpetrators.
Forty-seven JD Wetherspoon pubs in the ‘EEAST’ region will be sharing the message through the campaign’s distinctive green Don’t Choose to Abuse posters and drinks mats.
The support comes after statistics from 2017-18 were released, showing that there were more than 1,000 incidents reported by EEAST staff, including 252 incidents of physical abuse and intimidation – eight where weapons were used.
The campaign has been re-launched across the six counties which the Trust serves (Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk), reminding people that assaulting ambulance crew members can result in a prison sentence of up to 12 months.
Dorothy Hosein, chief executive of EEAST said: “It’s totally unacceptable to abuse ambulance crews and call handlers who are only there to help.
“We are therefore delighted that Wetherspoon has chosen to endorse our message now, as Easter and the May bank holidays are often a very busy time for us.
“It’s a reminder that our staff work through the holidays to help people and keep them safe, and they need your respect and support to do their job.”
Tom Ball, general manager of Wetherspoon, said: “We are pleased to play our part in getting this important message over to the public.
“The participating Wetherspoon pubs will display the posters prominently in order to highlight the campaign to their customers.”