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PCC Kim McGuinness works with Crimestoppers to offer a reward for info on those who attack emergency workers & start fires

14th September 2020

A series of attacks on emergency workers in the Northumbria region has prompted Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, to team up with independent charity Crimestoppers to offer a reward of up to £1,000 for any information leading to the arrest and charge of those responsible.

Across the Northumbria force area there have been some worrying attacks in recent weeks where police officers have been spat on, paramedics have been assaulted and firefighters have had rocks thrown at them when attending deliberately started fires.

Crimestoppers is now appealing for people to speak up anonymously against these unacceptable behaviours and help prevent further threats.

The most recent figures for Northumbria show that in the 12 months to June 2019 there were 897 assaults on police officers, and 863 in the following 12 months. Alongside this, since November 2018, there have been 101 recorded incidents of assaults on other emergency workers.

Kim McGuinness, who is calling on Government to ensure the courts use their full powers when sentencing those convicted of attacking emergency service workers, said: “These attacks make me furious. We need to do everything possible to fight these crimes and prevent them from happening. This reward is about encouraging reporting and seeking justice – we have to make sure we catch those who are responsible and that there are appropriate punishments in place.

“Our emergency workers are the very people who put their lives on the line to save others. They absolutely shouldn’t have to put up with this. We don’t always know who the culprits are so anyone who does know or who has information, needs to do the right thing – it could be you and your family needing help one day.

“A paramedic attending to an assault on a fire officer, which will then have to be investigated by the police – this ties up all our valuable resources, taking them away from other emergencies and putting everyone in our communities in real danger. It keeps happing and it has to stop.”

Ruth McNee, North East Regional Manager at the charity Crimestoppers, said:

“This sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable. Even if no one is hurt or killed, arson can leave people homeless and penniless, and attacks on emergency services are now making matters so much worse. We need people in these communities to speak up, to tell us what they know – hence why we are offering a reward of up to £1,000 for information to help prevent future fires from damaging communities and threatening lives – and to ensure that those who assault our critical emergency workers are stopped in their tracks.

“At Crimestoppers, our charity has kept our promise of anonymity for over 32 years, so you can trust that when you tell us anything, no one will ever know. Anyone can contact us online via our untraceable online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org, or you can call our 24-hour UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111. The number will not show up on any phone bill and we are not interested in who you are, just what you know.”

Please note: Computer IP addresses are never traced and no-one will ever know you contacted us. For telephone calls, we have no caller line display, no 1471 facility and have never traced a call.

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