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Fire Brigade Union gets serious about attacks on firefighters

Published on 14 July 2010
In some areas attacking fire crews has become a recreational activity
There has been a rise in harassment of firefighters

In a recent attack in South Wales a firefighter was shot with an air gun, which seriously injured him.

"Where is your report?" FBU asks Welsh Assembly government after air rifle attack.

The Fire Brigades Union called for the immediate publication of a long-promised Welsh Assembly report, which thus far Welsh regional officials have not seen, dealing with attacks on firefighters, and for firm action to be taken by the Welsh Assembly and the police.

"The recent attack in South Wales on firefighters with an air rifle, in which one firefighter was injured, is just the latest of a catalogue of vicious and vindictive attacks" says Grant Mayos, FBU regional secretary. "We have seen fire crews called out by hoax callers, and when they arrive, being ambushed with stones and bottles."

"Our members have been spat at, shot at, abused and harassed whilst protecting their communities and carrying our life saving duties. In some areas attacking fire crews has become a recreational activity."

"Yet as far as we know, not a single person has been convicted of an attack on firefighters within Wales in the past year." Two years ago, in 2008, the FBU raised this issue and the Welsh Assembly Government said it was concerned and was waiting for a report to get an accurate picture.

"This report has not materialised, attacks continue unabated, and nothing seems to be done about it" says Mr Mayos. "Recent legislation which was put in place in order to protect our members simply isn't being implemented. "The FBU wants to see greater priority to this matter from the police, before one of our members is killed." 

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