The police internal affairs unit is looking into a complaint from nurses that it took officers 40 minutes to respond to a call for help by an ambulance crew, the Times of Malta has learnt.

A police spokeswoman confirmed that the case was being investigated internally.

The Malta Union of Midwives and Nurses said an ambulance nurse was threatened while attending to two bicycle-accident victims in Marsa on Monday.

It said the incident escalated after the nurse was accosted by a group of men, some of whom appeared to be drunk.

The union said that although the police were informed about the bicycle accident, no officers were on site when the ambulance arrived to attend to the victims. It said the police only arrived 40 minutes after the nurse had asked for help.

At one point, the union added, a group men boarded the ambulance and began threatening, insulting and using abusive language towards the female nurse and an Italian patient.

It accused the police of failing to do their duty and protect working nurses, and called on the Home Affairs Minister to sort out the problem.

The union said that nurses constantly faced harassment during their work shifts, especially in Paceville.

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