Ambulance Crews Issued with Spit Kits

Tuesday, 27 January, 2009

Ambulances in Greater Glasgow are the first to be issued with special kits to allow crews who are spat on by patients or members of the public to pass on samples to police for DNA analysis.

Under the initiative, any crews that are spat on can use the special kits to collect a sample and hand it into a police station. If a match is found for the DNA then the sample will provide evidence to prosecute the individual concerned. The samples will be held on the DNA database so that future offenders can also be prosecuted.
The move is in response to the increasing number of incidents where crews are spat on by patients or members of the public - often in cases where alcohol or drugs are involved.

Pauline Howie, Acting Chief Executive, Scottish Ambulance Service, said:
"Any kind of abuse of ambulance service staff is intolerable and we will take whatever measures possible to protect our staff. The new 'spit kits' offer additional protection for our staff and will hopefully act as a deterrent in the future. Ambulance crews deserve respect for the difficult job that they undertake in what are often very challenging circumstances."

The Service intends to roll out the issue of 'spit kits' to all ambulances in Scotland in early 2009.

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