Punters at pubs across Essex will be shown hard-hitting messages about the abuse ambulance workers receive.

Wetherspoons will be displaying the messages in the run-up to the Easter weekend.

The brand has establishments in Colchester, Maldon, Clacton, Basildon, Southend, Billericay, Dovercourt, Shoeburyness and Leigh.

The East of England Ambulance Service campaign highlights the abuse which ambulance staff receive and the consequences for perpetrators.

During 2017-18 there were more than 1,000 incidents reported by staff, including 252 incidents of physical abuse and intimidation – eight where weapons were used.

The campaign has been re-launched across the six counties which the Trust serves reminding people that assaulting ambulance crew members can result in a prison sentence of up to 12 months.

Forty-seven Wetherspoon pubs in the region will be sharing the message with the Don’t Choose to Abuse posters and drinks mats.

Dorothy Hosein, Chief Executive of EEAST said: “It’s totally unacceptable to abuse ambulance crews and call handlers who are only there to help.

“We are therefore delighted that Wetherspoon has chosen to endorse our message now, as Easter and the May bank holidays are often a very busy time for us.

It’s a reminder that our staff work through the holidays to help people and keep them safe, and they need your respect and support to do their job.”

Tom Ball, General Manager of Wetherspoon said: “We are pleased to play our part in getting this important message over to the public.

“The participating Wetherspoon pubs will display the posters prominently in order to highlight the campaign to their customers.”