I have been concerned about this for some time and have been receiving regular updates regarding the demands placed on police officers in Cleveland.
Police on Cleveland are dedicated and the safety of the public is at the heart of what they do but let’s be clear, they are not medical professionals. They are being put in the difficult position of having no other option than transporting injured victims to hospital for immediate medical attention.
My other concern is that in doing so they are being taken away from their policing duties on the streets and waiting in queues for Accident and Emergency with patients in the back of patrol cars. This is unacceptable and those needing medical attention deserve better.
I have written to North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) to raise these concerns and have attended a summit meeting to talk about the pressures to A&E and the effect it is having on Cleveland Police and local residents.
I do recognise these pressures are not unique to Cleveland and there is a national issue, but money that the Government made available to help has not touched the North East.
I continue to closely monitor the situation in Cleveland and am reassured that senior officers are engaging with NEAS to improve the situation into this winter.
Police & Crime Commissioner for Cleveland
Posted on Monday 21st October 2013