Senior Fire Officers from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are condemning attacks on Firefighters and are warning lives could be lost due to the increasing number of attacks on Firefighters while undertaking their duties and trying to do their job – saving people’s lives.
To create awareness of the increasing number of attacks on Firefighters in South Wales and the devastating consequences these attacks can have, SWFRS recently launched its ‘we can’t protect while we are under attack’ campaign.
Chief Fire Officer, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Huw Jakeway said “We take any verbal or physical attacks against our staff very seriously. It is totally unacceptable and distracts us from our main role of keeping the public safe and protecting them in emergencies. Attacks on our crews could have life threatening consequences for the persons involved in the incident the Firefighters are responding too – the occupiers of a house fire for example”.
Mike Adams, Police Sergeant, Fire Crime Unit, “The Obstruction of Emergency Workers Act 2006’ Services Act makes it a specific offence to obstruct or hinder the emergency services responding to emergency incidents and the Service Fire Crime Unit will continue to work with the local Police Force to press for the prosecution of anyone who attacks our staff”.
This led to the second successful prosecution in two months. On March the 12th 2014, two males appeared at Pontypridd Magistrates Court charged with Obstruction of an Emergency worker on 31st of October 2013 at Penygraig. Both pleaded guilty and summons issued. A further male was dealt with for the same matter but out of court and received Youth restorative justice.
This was following a court appearance earlier in the year, where a male pleaded guilty at Caerphilly Magistrates Court and was fined. The male has been ordered to pay £370 and has to pay an extra £85 in costs and £37 victim surcharge, totaling £492.
“Remember - ‘we can’t protect while under attack”.
If you witness an attack on a Fire Crew you can report it by calling your local Police Force or the SWFRS Fire Crime Unit on 0800 7317287 or email email@example.com or via the SWFRS app. The app is completely free to download – just search South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.