Paramedics need police escorts to enter thousands of Scottish homes

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PARAMEDICS are unable to enter more than 2,500 homes in Scotland without a police officer due to safety fears.

The Scottish Ambulance Service has red-flagged 2,557 addresses, meaning ambulance crews can only attend in response to a 999 call with police back-up.

The majority of the red-flagged addresses are in and around Glasgow, with 820 in the G postcode area.

Edinburgh and the Lothians has the next highest at 469, followed by 216 in Lanarkshire and 191 in Ayrshire.

In Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, 169 addresses require police to allow paramedics safe entry, as do 150 in Fife.

The ambulance service revealed the figures following a Scottish Conservative freedom of information request.

The areas where police escorts are required

The party’s public health spokeswoman Annie Wells said the “shocking” figures highlight the need for more action to keep ambulance crews safe.

She said: “No paramedic should ever fear for their own wellbeing, especially when they are dedicating their lives to helping others.

“We clearly need to do more to keep them safe, which means tough action from the courts when those assaulting, or threatening to assault, ambulance workers are caught.

“That’s the least we could do to ensure these brave and indispensable employees can go about their work safely and effectively.”

Under legislation to protect emergency workers, anyone convicted can face up to a year behind bars, a £10,000 fine, or both.

Earlier this year the Government revealed 6,509 common assaults were recorded on police, fire and ambulance workers across Scotland in 2016/17, equivalent to more than 17 per day.