Firefighters were left ‘absolutely disgusted’ last night after having various objects thrown at them whilst attending an incident in Doncaster.
Crews were called to Chestnut Avenue in Carcroft at 6.57pm yesterday (Wednesday 6 February) to reports of a wheelie bin fire in a park.
Upon arrival, they were met by a gang of youths who were initially verbally aggressive, before starting to throw random objects – forcing firefighters to withdraw from the incident until officers from South Yorkshire Police arrived.
This latest attack follows a number of previous incidents during the bonfire period.
“Clearly this group has set fire to a bin, in the knowledge that we would attend, and awaited our arrival where they have hurled abuse and physical objects at our firefighters,” said Area Manager Andy Strelczenie, the service’s head of emergency response.
“This is totally unacceptable and we’re absolutely disgusted by what happened. Our crews put themselves in danger every day to keep the people of South Yorkshire safe, they don’t deserve to be abused in any way.
“As with the incidents over the bonfire period, we’ll be working closely with our police colleagues to identify those responsible and bring them to justice.
“I’m sure they’ll be surprised to find out that this kind of behaviour now carries a custodial sentence of up to 12 months – thanks to a new law that came into force last year.”
The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill will create a new offence of assault against an emergency worker in the exercise of their functions with a penalty that is increased from 6 months to 12 months
The Bill also creates a statutory aggravating factor. This means that when a person is convicted of a range of offences including sexual assault, ABH, GBH and manslaughter, the judge must consider the fact that the offence was committed against an emergency worker as an aggravating factor meriting an increase in the sentence within the maximum allowed for the particular offence
The Bill will cover emergency workers, this includes police, prison officers, custody officers, fire service personnel, search and rescue services and certain healthcare workers including ambulance personnel