The Fire Brigade Union today has released its own figures regarding the levels of violent abuse our fire-fighters face from certain members of the public. They estimate that there has been a 15% rise in attacks to 1,500 whilst government figures show a 68% reduction to 400. Both cannot be right. The fact remains even if it is 400 that is far too many and symptomatic of a failing society. I have often been accused of being socialist authoritarian and other such names on this site, but I wonder what the extreme free marketers would do about this problem?
This story ignites in me a vehement anger like those of nurses and doctors being assaulted. These people put themselves at the service of the public doing difficult and life threatening jobs, the recent deaths of 3 fire fighters just reminds us. Why why WHY on earth do people (often teenagers with regard to the fire fighters) think it is ok to do this? Many of the fire-fighters have reported that the people who attack them are often drunk, like most people who assault nurses are, like most people on a night the police will arrest for violence.
Instilling proper discipline in schools consistently, and then continuing that in society by the police and other enforcement people should be more consistent in their application of the law, paper work should be reduced to make this effective. If people stand together in their communities against this disgusting behaviour perhaps it can begin to be reduced, people will only do that however if they are not fearing reprisals from a litigious culture.
An immediate action should be the imposition of the strictest of penalties for assault of a public servant, perhaps even doing community service for the service the abused, like cleaning fire engines, or other community punishments which put offenders face to face with the people they abused.
Consequences, consequences consequences. I think forced community service for the service you abused perhaps would give people an insight into the jobs these people do and make them think twice before they threw that brick at a fire fighter.