Ayrshire’s top cop has vowed to fight rising numbers of violent attacks and abuse of emergency service workers – after various sickening examples reported in the Times over the pandemic period.

The Ayrshire Assault Pledge sets out their commitment and marks the beginning of the end of assaults on emergency workers in Ayrshire.

A total of 450 assaults were recorded on Ayrshire’s emergency workers according to the latest figures released by Police Scotland, and the pledge makes it clear that these are not simply part of the job.

It also encourages staff to report any form of abuse directed at them and ensures they will be offered the right support if they are affected.

Last week, we reported that a man admitted assaulting police, threatening behaviour aggravated by abuse of sexual orientation and spraying Hep C infected blood at Crosshouse Hospital back in March. He was jailed for 27 months at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

Chief Superintendent Faroque Hussain, Divisional Commander for Ayrshire, said: “Tackling the concerning trend of increasing assaults on officers and staff is a priority for Police Scotland.

“It causes physical and psychological harm to dedicated public servants and there is also a cost to the public purse through days lost to ill health or personal injury claims.

“Officers and staff across Ayrshire work with dedication and a commitment to helping people and violence and abuse against them is not simply part of the job.”

Professor Hazel Borland, Interim Chief Executive for NHS Ayrshire & Arran said: “We are delighted to be working alongside our partners across Ayrshire and Arran to highlight that violence and abuse in any form will not be tolerated in the workplace.

“Our staff treat patients, and anyone else we come into contact with as part of our work activity, with dignity and respect and our staff have the right to expect that treatment in return.”