Attacks against emergency services and hospital staff are target of police operation

Mark Gallagher assaulted a nurse and security officers at Hull Royal Infirmary.
Mark Gallagher assaulted a nurse and security officers at Hull Royal Infirmary.
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Criminals who assault hospital staff are the target of a new operation between police and a Yorkshire health trust.

Humberside Police has joined forces with Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as part of Operation Victor to target offenders who commit crimes at hospital sites or who attack medical staff.

Mark Gallagher, 42, assaulted a nurse and two security officers after he was brought to Hull Royal Infirmary's emergency department with a head injury in the early hours of February 16.

He is one of the first offenders to be prosecuted under the new Assaults of Emergency Workers Offences Act, designed to protect emergency service staff.

Gallagher admitted three counts of assault against emergency workers when he appeared at Hull Magistrates Court on Monday.

Magistrates imposed a curfew on Gallagher, preventing him from being outside between the hours of 7pm to 7am for eight weeks.

He was also given a 12-month community order and was ordered to pay £150 in compensation to each of the three members of staff. He was also ordered to pay £85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £85.

Chief Inspector Lee Edwards said: “Any assault on an emergency worker is wholly unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“Our priority first and foremost is to protect and help the public, and attacks like these should not happen.

“If anyone thinks they can get away with assaulting an emergency worker, they are sorely mistaken, as they will now face much tougher penalties for such actions.”

There have been more than 70 assaults by members of the public reported to staff at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital in the past 12 months, latest figures show.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s security manager, Ron Gregory, said: “Anyone who is violent or abusive to any member of staff at our hospitals should be in no doubt they will face the appropriate punishment for their crime.

“Our staff come to work every day to help others. They do not come to work to be assaulted, abused, spat at or attacked and we will not tolerate any such behaviour.”