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Appeal after ambulance crew abused by motorist

News   •   Jan 10, 2018 06:00 GMT

[CCTV still of man abusing LAS staff]

Police are appealing for information and witnesses after a man drove dangerously, and abused a member of London Ambulance Service crew as they were driving to an emergency call in Sutton.

At around 18:45hrs on Wednesday, 27 December, the members of ambulance crew were responding to an emergency call to assist an elderly woman suffering from an acute illness.

As the ambulance was driven northbound on Central Road near the junction with Green Lane in Worcester Park, a Honda CRV-type car pulled up behind the ambulance. The driver got out of the car, approached the driver’s side door and shouted abuse at the man and woman.

Neither crew members were physically injured, and both continued with their shift.

The driver of the Honda returned to the car and drove off towards Kingston. He is described as a white man, aged in his 40s or 50s and around 5ft 6ins in height. He may have been wearing a green jacket, with dark trousers and white trainers.

The assault appears to have been motivated by an earlier incident, in which the Honda driver failed to move out of the way of the ambulance as it was driven with lights and sirens activated in Worcester Park High Street. The Honda was then driven slowly in an apparent attempt to further delay the ambulance.

While shouting abuse at the victims, the Honda driver stated that he thought he had seen the male crew member in the ambulance swearing at him.

Police are investigating, and have released a CCTV still showing the driver of the Honda next to the ambulance at the time of the incident.

Police Sergeant John Bouchard,from Sutton Borough, said: "The CCTV is not of good quality, it is possible that the image, combined with the man’s link to the Honda, may enable somebody to identify him.

"In the meantime, officers will be working to trace higher quality CCTV from buses and information from Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems in order to identify the suspect and the car.

"I would urge the man responsible to come forward and speak to police. This is a shocking incident where a member of the emergency services was unjustly abused while on shift, and I would like to think this man will come forward and take responsibility for his actions."

London Ambulance Service Team Leader, Katie Vallis, said: "It is completely unacceptable for our staff to suffer verbal abuse from members of the public when they are trying to do their job.

"Thankfully, on this occasion, our crew was not injured, but as a Service, we will not tolerate this type of behaviour."

Anyone with information should call Sutton police on 101. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.