Friday, June 24, 2011

Health and Safety red tape prevents almost half of police and three-quarters of paramedics from helping the public - 23rd June 2011

Health and safety red tape is routinely stopping emergency services from helping the public, a survey finds.

Almost half of police officers and three-quarters of paramedics say they have been prevented from helping people at some time.

But eight out of ten said they had ignored the guidelines while doing their job.

The figures are revealed in an investigation by ITV1's Tonight programme.

Around 1,400 frontline police officers and 600 paramedics were interviewed for the survey.

A majority agreed they wanted an overhaul of the guidelines to give them 'greater freedom to act' claiming a 'risk aversion' culture had been created.

The recent July 7 inquests brought the issue into sharp focus when evidence emerged of delays in helping some victims of the bombings because of guidelines on how emergency services workers operate.

Paramedics were also prevented from helping victims when Derrick Bird shot dead 12 people in Cumbria, the inquest heard.

They were forced to wait until the scene had been declared safe by police. Read More