A paramedic at London Ambulance Service who was sexually assaulted by a patient has spoken out in the hope it will encourage others to seek justice – after her attacker was jailed.
Naveed Ahmed, aged 35, of Hickling Road, Ilford, was jailed in November for nine months after he groped paramedic Charlotte Miller and exposed himself.
Charlotte has waived her right to anonymity, which is automatically granted to victims of sexual offences, in the hope it will encourage others to report similar crimes.
She said: “My crewmate and I were encouraging the patient to get into the ambulance so we could assess him but he grabbed my crotch and tried to grab me again. Then he pulled his pants down.
“I couldn’t believe it, I was asking myself if it really happened. I was frightened and scared. I think the reason I was so shocked was because it was so unexpected – I was there to help him.”
Newly released footage from an ambulance video camera shows Charlotte on her radio calling the police moments after the assault.
Police officers arrived in less than a minute and arrested Ahmed after the incident on Edgware Road last October.
Charlotte added: “The whole thing was sickening and disgusting and really made us feel quite vulnerable.
“But I would urge everyone to report these things because I was well supported by my management team and by the police.
“It’s only by reporting this sort of behaviour and helping police to prosecute that the message will get through that there are serious consequences.”
In 2022 there were a total of 49 sexual assaults on London Ambulance Service (LAS) staff or volunteers. There were a further 516 physical assaults – including kicking, punching, head-butting and attacks with a weapon – and 601 reports of verbal abuse or threats of violence.
The Service has invested more than £3 million in kitting out its ambulances with video cameras aimed at protecting crews. So far, video captured by the ambulance cameras has been used in several successful prosecutions, with 92 submissions of video evidence since April 2022.
London Ambulance Service’s Chief Paramedic Dr John Martin said: “Our ambulance crews and call handlers should be able to work without fear of violence, sexual violence or threats.
“They come to work each day to help others so we will do everything we can to keep them safe and ensure they are treated with the respect they deserve.”
LAS joined ambulance services across the country to launch a “Work Without Fear” campaign to promote a no-violence culture and help create a safer work environment for front-line staff and volunteers.
The Service has dedicated Violence Reduction Officers who encourage colleagues to report all incidents of abuse while also supporting them through the court process.
Detective Constable Jorge Sobral, of the Metropolitan Police, was part of the team who pursued the case again Ahmed.
He said: “Our colleagues in the ambulance service dedicate their lives to helping people, and it is not acceptable for them to be treated like this.
“We will always investigate crimes like this and I would urge people to always report this sort of appalling behaviour to the police. This was a good result and will hopefully change people’s behaviour.”