A SERIES of attacks on emergency service workers in the region has prompted the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner to partner with Crimestoppers.

Kim McGuinness has teamed up with the independent charity to offer a reward of up to £1,000 for any information leading to the arrest and charge of those responsible.

Across the Northumbria force area, there has been some worrying attacks in recent weeks, which have seen police officers spat on, paramedics assaulted, and rocks thrown at firefighters when attending deliberately started fires.

Crimestoppers is now appealing for people to speak up anonymously against these unacceptable behaviours and help prevent further threats.

The most recent figures for Northumbria show that in the 12 months to June 2019, there were 897 assaults on police officers and 863 in the following 12 months.

Since November 2018, there have also been 101 recorded incidents of assaults on other emergency service workers.

Ms McGuinness, who is calling on the Government to ensure the courts use their full powers when sentencing those convicted of attacking emergency service workers, said: "These attacks make me furious. We need to do everything possible to fight these crimes and prevent them from happening.

"This reward is about encouraging reporting and seeking justice; we have to make sure we catch those who are responsible and that there are appropriate punishments in place.

"Our emergency workers are the very people who put their lives on the line to save others. They absolutely shouldn’t have to put up with this.

"We don’t always know who the culprits are, so anyone who does know or who has information, needs to do the right thing - it could be you and your family needing help one day.

"A paramedic attending to an assault on a fire officer, which will then have to be investigated by the police – this ties up all our valuable resources, taking them away from other emergencies and putting everyone in our communities in real danger. It keeps happening and it has to stop."

Crimestoppers North-East Regional manager, Ruth McNee, added: "This sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable.

"Even if no one is hurt or killed, arson can leave people homeless and penniless, and attacks on emergency services are now making matters so much worse.

"We need people in these communities to speak up, to tell us what they know – hence why we are offering a reward of up to £1,000 for information to help prevent future fires from damaging communities and threatening lives, and to ensure that those who assault our critical emergency workers are stopped in their tracks.

"At Crimestoppers, our charity has kept our promise of anonymity for over 32 years, so you can trust that when you tell us anything, no one will ever know.

"Anyone can contact us online via our untraceable form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or can call our 24-hour UK Contact Centre on freephone 0800 555 111 - this number will not show up on any phone bill. We are not interested in who you are, just what you know.”