Reference Library – England – East Yorkshire
Security guards are being fitted with body cameras at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill after more than 1,000 attacks on doctors, nurses and hospital staff. Doctors, nurses, receptionists and hospital staff have been spat at, bitten, racially abused and had their faces gouged by patients, relatives and visitors. Now, Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is warning anyone caught on camera attacking or abusing an NHS worker1 anywhere in either hospital will be subjected to the full force of the law and hauled before the courts.
Edward McGee, security contracts manager at the trust, said: “I’m appalled by some of the things I’ve seen.
“Staff have been scratched, bitten, punched, kicked, been gouged at and spat on . And these assaults are recorded across the spectrum, not just in A&E. Read more:Nursing associates take up new jobs at Hull Royal and Castle Hills2
“Behaviour of this kind will not be tolerated and we will pursue every conceivable chance of prosecution. “Our staff are here to help and treat people . They are not here to be abused and assaulted.”
Figures show 1,045 assaults have taken place at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill since 2011/12 . The number of attacks peaked in 2013/14, when 249 assaults took place. Although assaults had dropped to 174 in 2015/16, there have been 233 assaults in the past year.
Of those, 167 were classed as “clinical assaults” where a patient assaulted a member of staff because of a medical condition such as dementia, hallucinations or an adverse reaction to medication. However, 66 were assaults not linked to a person’s illness.
Mr McGee said 14 body cameras are now in operation, warning signs have been placed around the hospital and the trust has teamed up with Humberside Police and Hull City Council to gather evidence against those abusing staff. As well as prosecuting anyone assaulting staff, anti-social behaviour3 warning letters are being sent to people caught shouting, swearing or racially abusing staff, with more than 50 sent out to January alone. Mr McGee said staff were reporting anti-social behaviour on the trust’s internal Datix reporting system with security staff using the information to send warning letters to perpetrators about their conduct.
Evidence will then be passed onto Humberside Police and Hull City Council as intelligence, with the real possibility of people being banned from both hospitals4 as part of future antisocial behaviour orders. If the offender has a drink or drugs-related problem, the authorities will take action to get them help. “We have had one member of the public receiving a letter and they rang up to say they were really sorry for their behaviour, that it was totally out of character and it will never happen again,” said Mr McGee.
“That’s proved its worth . All we’re asking is people, when they come into hospital, to please treat us with the respect with which we treat you.” All staff using the cameras have received hospital conflict resolution training to the standard laid down by NHS Protect and have security industry licences to ensure they have the skills to diffuse dangerous situations.
Security staff will now be trained in using the body cameras fitted to their uniforms, activating them as soon as they witness a situation with the potential to spill over into violence against staff. As well as the footage being used in future prosecutions through the courts, it will also be used in the monthly training sessions for security staff, showing them real-life examples of what they could face on the frontline. Mr McGee said those guilty of violence against staff represented a tiny minority of the tens of thousands attending East Yorkshire’s hospitals.
He said: “We want to reassure people that Hull Royal and Castle Hill are not violent places . We do have times, like everywhere else, when there is violence but people shouldn’t be worried about coming here. “Our priority is the safety of our staff, patients and visitors and we will take as many proactive steps as possible to prevent assaults or other acts of violence taking place.”
- ^ anyone caught on camera attacking or abusing an NHS worker (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
- ^ Nursing associates take up new jobs at Hull Royal and Castle Hills (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
- ^ anti-social behaviour (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
- ^ people being banned from both hospitals (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
- ^ ‘Crack cocaine’ betting machines swallowing a day’s wages in 10 minutes (www.hulldailymail.co.uk)
Homeowners are being urged to prevent burglaries by keeping property secure and valuable out of view over the festive season. People leaving presents on view under Christmas trees, buying lots of new items and leaving homes unoccupied as they go out shopping or visiting friends and family can prove a tempting combination for criminals. In order to tackle the issues Humberside Police will be targeting known offenders and carrying out both high visibility and undercover patrols of burglary hotspots.
Burglary at any time is awful but at Christmas the distress caused can be even worse with homes feeling violated and plans for festive period being thrown into disarray.
“For this reason we are committed to the public in supporting you with policing activity to prevent and deter burglaries across the force, with proactive targeted patrolling, offering guidance to residents around improving the security of their homes and targeting offenders to ensure they are quickly brought to justice.
But the key is preventing as many offences as possible by encouraging members of the public to keep their homes secure, avoiding placing presents or valuables in view to would be burglars and by reporting crime in progress to us on 999.
Det . Chief Inspector Jon Cross, Humberside Police
In December 2014*, 313 homes were targeted by burglars across the Humberside police force area . Some victims had their gifts stolen and festive plans ruined by opportunist offenders. On Gifford Close, Hull last December an insecure home was targets by a opportunist thief . The unknown burglar spotted the slightly ajar rear ground floor window before entering the property and stealing a number of presents that were wrapped under the tree.
In another incident on Kettlewell Road, Grimsby last year offenders entered a unlocked flat and took 20 presents that had been left wrapped in the property.
I don t want to see similar incidents to these again this year and therefore I would urge everyone to do their bit by keeping their homes secure to keep thieves out and not leaving items that may tempt thieves on display.
“Together we can make it a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons.
Det . Chief Insp . Jon Cross . Humberside Police
Here are our top five tips for keeping you and your home safe over Christmas:
Keep your home secure . A third of burglaries see thieves getting in through unlocked or open doors and windows.
Store gifts out of sight until Christmas day.
Be a good neighbour, report anything suspicious in your area to the police on 101.
Make your home look occupied even when you re out . Use timer-switches on your lights, ask a trusted friend or neighbour to close/open your curtains for you and use a plug-in timer for the radio to make it look and sound as if someone is at home.
Remember to also keep your outbuildings as secure as possible . Use a decent lock and consider fitting an alarm.
For further advice on keeping yourself and property safe over the Christmas period visit Humberside Police’s virtual on-line Yuletide Christmas Calendar1. Behind each window of the calendar you will find a Yuletide related Christmas video aimed at highlighting the work of the force, helping to keep you safe or simply bringing a smile to your face. If you see people acting suspiciously in your community, if there is a burglary in progress or if you have details about those involved in criminality get in touch .
This can be done using 999 in an emergency, 101 in a non-emergency or via Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
PEACE and stability is one of those issues that was hardly raised in the referendum campaign. It was an issue that the previous Prime Minister was determined to keep out of the campaign, in spite of efforts by many of us to bring it into the argument, and despite evidence that voters, when asked, responded positively to the reminder. Since June 24, the Prime Minister and other Ministers have said that, in leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe and that we shall continue to play our full part in European foreign policy and external and internal security co-operation . The question to the Government is when will they tell us how on earth they intend to manage to play our full part when we leave the structures of co-operation? In the early years of Margaret Thatcher s government, Conservative ministers were enthusiasts for foreign policy co-operation . I remember the London report that the then Foreign Secretary, Lord Carrington, commissioned from 1980 to 1981 to investigate how to strengthen foreign policy co-operation . Those of us who have read Mrs Thatcher s Bruges speech carefully will remember that that also touched on the need for wider European security, speaking of Prague, Warsaw and Budapest as great European cities .
When the Cold War ended, the UK was in the lead on enlargement and in assisting the transformation of east European countries towards democracy and stability and in providing training for their police and border forces and armed forces, as we learnt that the disappearance of the Iron Curtain meant that co-operation on internal security and borders had become essential . The UK led in establishing Europol, and Europol has a number of very good British staff and a British secretary-general. In his first years as Prime Minister, Tony Blair supported closer Franco-British defence co-operation through the 1988 agreement to strengthen and lead closer European defence co-operation and to encourage others the Germans, the Dutch, the Italians and others to follow. However, the Daily Mail campaign against what it dubbed the European Army led him to back off, because he always hated standing up to the Daily Mail . Since then, what we have had is a widening gap between the realities of developing co-operation on peace and security and the unwillingness of Ministers, both Labour and Conservative, to admit to the right-wing press or to the House of Commons how far we have been usefully engaged, in our own national interest, in shared European interests. In 2010, the French took the initiative to strengthen bilateral defence co-operation further . Liam Fox, the then Secretary of State for Defence, followed the policy but did his best to suppress public awareness of joint operations and manoeuvres as far as possible . I am told that his first briefing by the official who managed Franco-British co-operation led to the Secretary of State saying: Ah yes, but I shall want to talk about this as little as possible. I am told that the memorandum to David Cameron on the commemoration of the First World War that sparked off a committee on which I still sit included the phrase and we must ensure that commemoration does not lend support to the myth that European integration arose out of the conflicts of World Wars One and Two .
That is not a myth; it is very much part of why, after the war, we ended up trying to develop European co-operation. The referendum campaign was thus fought on the basis that this was an argument about economics and sovereignty, unconnected with peace or security . One has to say that Liam Fox and others were European security co-operation deniers in that campaign . Yet the experience of two world wars had been that Britain cannot stand aside when the continent faces disorder. I was listening to a senior Nato official who spelt out clearly that, in an era of hybrid warfare, cyberattacks, surges of refugees and migrants and economic and financial sanctions as means of political pressure short of war, the EU is now as central to western security as Nato, and the EU is the essential partner of Nato in meeting these threats and challenges. Without having an answer to how we manage continuing co-operation in foreign policy, defence policy and internal security, we shall have no credible foreign policy . Perhaps it is appropriate that we still have no credible Foreign Secretary to push such a policy.
Lord Wallace of Saltaire is a Lib Dem peer who spoke in a House of Lords debate on Brexit .
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