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Partnership to Tackle Alcohol-related Emergencies in Bradford

16 February 2012

A pilot scheme is underway in Bradford aimed at easing the pressures placed on the police and ambulance service by alcohol-related incidents.

The late-night pairing of a paramedic and an officer from the City Ward Neighbourhood Policing Team aims to provide a quick response to people with alcohol-related illnesses or injuries and those calling for police assistance in the city centre night spots.

West Yorkshire Police and Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust have joined forces for the tried-and-tested initiative which will operate on Friday and Saturday nights, a time when traditionally there is an increase in 999 calls to both services.

Pictured above - left to right - is Carl Davies, Paramedic at Bradford Ambulance Station, Richard Waterman A&E Locality Manager for the Bradford area at Yorkshire Ambulance Service and Kevin Pickles, Bradford City Ward Neighbourhood Policing Team Inspector

Richard Waterman, A&E Locality Manager for the Bradford area at Yorkshire Ambulance Service, says the scheme is a win-win situation for both services and members of the public: “Unfortunately, a lot of the 999 calls received in busy town and city centres on evenings at weekends are alcohol-related and are usually for those who have had too much to drink, fallen over, or got into a fight.

"Most of the time, these individuals only require treatment for minor cuts or bruises so the benefits of this scheme is that it allows the paramedic to treat patients at the scene with the reassurance that the police are on hand to handle any difficult situations and keep public order. 

“People who are injured are seen quicker, the police have a paramedic immediately on scene, the number of unnecessary trips to the hospital emergency department is reduced and our ambulances are left to deal with more serious emergencies. This scheme makes for a really good partnership.”

Bradford's City Ward NPT Inspector Kevin Pickles says this latest trial works to alleviate the pressure on resources and frees up the valuable time of police officers and ambulance staff:

He said: “By working together, we can quickly resolve incidents there and then which require the assistance of the police. Although we do not have a great number of such instances, when they do occur, they can often take up a lot of time.

“This might be having to wait with those who are ill or injured until the paramedics arrive. Likewise, paramedics could require police assistance to deal with someone who is drunk and aggressive, which can also take additional time.

“Whilst we are dealing with any instances of anti-social behaviour, crime or disorder, the paramedic can safely enter the environment and provide early medical assessment and treatment to those who are injured. Through this joint approach, we can have an instant impact and be quickly ready to respond to further calls.”

The pilot will be evaluated after the first month and if it proves to successful for local agencies and effective in ensuring the safety of the public during the night time economy, the police and ambulance service will look to continue the initiative in the city.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service works alongside police forces across the region to operate this initiative in other cities such as Hull, York and Sheffield. 

Produced By: Corporate Communications Department