Police have arrested and detained a woman in Stoke-on-Trent after a rude note was reportedly left on an ambulance in the town.
The incident played out on social media, with an ambulance worker sharing an image of the note on Twitter with an officer replying. No formal complaint was made to the police.
The Staffordshire force said in a statement that a 26-year-old woman had been arrested for public order offences.
They said “paramedics were subjected to verbal abuse and an offensive note on their ambulance attending a medical emergency” on Sunday afternoon.
The note, an image of which was shared more than 4,000 times on Twitter, demanded an ambulance move from outside a house. It read: “If this van is for anyone but Number 14 then you have no right to be parked here.
“I couldn’t give a s**t if the whole street collasped [sic]. Now move your van from outside my house.”
— Katie Tudor (@wmaskatietudor) February 18, 2018
Katie, officers are in the process of speaking to our @OFFICIALWMAS colleagues to obtain the full details from the crews at the scene. It's important that those working to save lives feel safe in the course of their duty. I'm sure that's the view of 99.99% of our population. https://t.co/xHSbdtl54S
— CI John Owen (@StokePoliceNrth) February 18, 2018
Chief Inspector John Owen, Commander for Stoke North Local Policing Team, said:
“We will not tolerate abuse or intimidation of our emergency services. This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable and we will take appropriate action against offenders.
“The arrest relates to matters of verbal abuse that could constitute offences under the Public Order Act. This is not solely about the note.”
The West Midlands Ambulance Service welcomed the arrest, with a spokesman saying in a statement:
“As a Trust, we welcome Staffordshire Police’s swift response to this incident and the arrest of the woman. We will continue to work closely with the police to ensure the perpetrator feels the full weight of the law.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy towards people who abuse our staff whilst trying to help patients in their hour of need. It is completely unacceptable and it must stop.”
They added: “Sadly, as this ambulance crew discovered yesterday, there are unfortunately still a handful of narrow-minded individuals who consider leaving vile abusive notes acceptable.”