The frequency of physical and verbal abuse against London Ambulance Service medics has increased so alarmingly in the last year that one Conservative politician has called for staff to wear personal cameras to gather video evidence for prosecutions.
A Freedom of Information request revealed that there were 582 reported assaults and 749 cases of abuse in 2013 - up 23 per cent on the previous year. Staff were bitten, others spat at and one hit with a fence post as crew members reponded to emergencies.
Conservative London Assembly member Roger Evans, who produced the report, wants 100 trial cameras to be worn by LAS crews to deter anti-social behaviour and protect crews.
He said: "It is a disgrace to hear of cases where front-line staff are having their fingers savagely bitten by drunks and attacked with fence posts.
"Video evidence would make it easier to report crimes, avoid disputes and shorten trials."
But LAS director of operations Jason Killens told BBC Radio London that the introduction of cameras, which are being trialled by police forces across the country, could undermime trust between the public and staff.
He added that medics were often attending "emotionally charged situations" which cameras could "exacerbate".
The LAS said it takes the issue of crew safety very seriously and will use the full force of the law to bring about a prosecution.