Hospital targeted by criminals

CRIMINALS targeted Ipswich Hospital nearly 100 times in just 12 months, it was revealed today.A total of 96 crimes were reported to police after being committed at the Heath Road site last year.

CRIMINALS targeted Ipswich Hospital nearly 100 times in just 12 months, it was revealed today.

A total of 96 crimes were reported to police after being committed at the Heath Road site last year.

The figures emerged in a reply to a Freedom of Information request by The Evening Star.

Today, the hospital reassured patients, their families and staff that it has a wide range of measures to ensure crime kept to a minimum.

Among the offences last year were 37 assaults, including four malicious assaults on staff which led to arrests.

The remaining 33 incidents included attacks by patients where their medical condition was a major factor, which meant they could not be held responsible for their actions.

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There were also 52 cases of theft on the premises, including six stolen bikes and four vehicle break-ins in 2006.

The other seven offences were made up of five incidents of criminal damage and two burglaries.

Jan Rowsell, a spokesman for the management of Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Safety of our patients and staff is paramount. We are a place of health care and healing and it's very important that the community can feel assured that this is a top priority for us.

“On any weekday there are around 8,000 people on site, about the size of a small town, so we have a range of security measures in place, which includes security officers on site. We also have our own police station on site and police officers who work within the Trust.

“We have personal safety training for staff and a range of regular crime prevention and crime reduction exhibitions held throughout the hospital.

“We always urge people when coming into the hospital not to bring valuable items, such as jewellery or personal possessions, with them if possible and frequently urge staff to think about safety of their belongings.”

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