CORONAVIRUS: Abuse of centre staff is condemned by MP and council leader
Health bosses revealed recently that they were working with police to show zero tolerance to offenders who were abusive to staff, with recent incidents including racial abuse.
Boston’s MP and the leader of Boston Borough Council have both spoken out about the ‘disgraceful’ behaviour.
MP Mat Warman says it is a ‘real disgrace’ and said Lincolnshire Police would have his full support in dealing with such incidents appropriately.
And Coun Paul Skinner, leader of Boston Borough Council, confirmed that there had been incidents at Boston facilities, and said he was saddened by it.
Mr Warman told the Standard: “The apparent rise in abuse against our hardworking staff at vaccination centres is a real disgrace. I would ask that anyone attending a vaccination centre or testing site treat staff there with respect. I know we are all eager to receive this jab; I know we are fed up and can't wait to get back to normality.
“But anti-social behaviour against those who are tirelessly working towards getting our lives back on track will not be tolerated and Lincolnshire Police have my support in dealing with such incidences.
“The whole country pulled together to protect each other and to save lives. Please carry such kindness into this next phase.”
Although it is not widespread, NHS Lincolnshire says staff at vaccination and testing centres, as well as GP practices, have been subjected to abuse of various kinds in recent weeks.
A spokesman said that had included some ‘absolutely horrible’ racist abuse.
“We want to be very clear – abuse of any kind is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We are working closely with our partners including Lincolnshire Police, and will - without exception - follow-up any and all incidences of abuse and will take appropriate action. Lincolnshire Police will prosecute anyone who commits criminal offences against staff, this includes abusive, threatening language.”
He said that the staff have been working incredibly long hours to facilitate the vaccination and testing sites in what has been an unprecedented rollout during peacetime leading to over 32 per cent of the country already vaccinated.
He added: “Please remember that the rollout of the Covid vaccination is only possible thanks to the sheer hard work and dedication of our amazing teams running the various sites around the county, whether they be at our testing or vaccination sites, or our GP practices and hospitals. Please be kind to them.”
A police spokesman said: “Lincolnshire Police continues to ask anyone who has been a victim of any crime to report it to us. We will prosecute anyone who commits criminal offences against staff, this includes abusive, threatening language.”
Coun Skinner said: “It’s incredibly disappointing to see that staff at vaccination and testing centres across the county have experienced this kind of abuse, and I’m sad to say it is something we have seen here in Boston too.
“Clearly abuse of those who are working hard to keep our vaccine and testing centres operating is completely unacceptable and it is something we, and our partners, take a zero-tolerance approach to. It is thanks to the efforts of the individuals staffing these centres that we are now on the road to recovery and they should be shown the kindness they deserve.”