Health bosses have spent more than 12million on security in the last five years amid a rise in attacks on NHS staff and patients. A total of 4,249 physical and non-verbal assaults were recorded at hospitals in the North East between April 2012 and March last year – an average of two a day.
NHS1 chiefs said attacks on its workers and patients were completely unacceptable . Figures released through a Freedom of Information request show The Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spent 5,083,009 on security during the five years.
And the trust, which runs Royal Victoria Infirmary2 and Freeman Hospital3, recorded 208 physical incidents in 2012, but this rose to 249 five years later – a 20% increase. A trust spokesman said: The safety of our patients and staff is the trust s first priority and we take any incidents of aggression or violence towards staff very seriously.
The trust s annual security spend covers the security provision for all of our hospital sites and we have a number of schemes in place to help maintain the safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff.
The County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, which spent 3,107,252 on security, saw a huge 61% increase in the number of physical attacks at its hospitals. It recorded 147 incidents in 2012/13 but 238 assaults were reported five years later.
The RVI in Newcastle (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
A trust spokesman said: Our security team works around the clock, seven days a week, and has a number of responsibilities, principally protecting our buildings and facilities across several sites.
No one should ever feel at risk of attack while at work and we take the safety of our colleagues very seriously . We have policies, guidance and support in place designed to ensure they are kept as safe as possible.
We also have robust processes for the occasions when they feel threatened to give them appropriate help and support quickly. The figures show the City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust spent 3,073,082 on security over five years, while 699 physical and non-verbal attacks were reported.
Meanwhile, the South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust said its security budget is set a 400,000 a year, meaning it could have spent up to 2m between April 2012 and March last year. During this period, health bosses recorded 553 incidents at its hospitals.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)
A joint statement from the South Tyneside and Sunderland Healthcare Group, which runs hospital services in South Tyneside and Sunderland, said: The safety and security of our patients, visitors and staff is always a priority and we have security measures in place 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at South Tyneside District Hospital4, Sunderland Royal Hospital and Sunderland Eye Infirmary.
We do not tolerate violent or abusive behaviour of any kind across our organisations and take a very proactive approach to make sure that we meet the highest security standards and protect people within our care.
The majority of security incidents reported are minor, but we have robust security procedures in place to ensure that any incident can be dealt with quickly and by working closely with the police where necessary.
The figures also revealed Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, spent 1.504,692 on security and recorded 780 incidents. Andy Colwell, who manages facilities and security at QE Gateshead, said: Our security team play a vital role in the hospital in protecting staff from abuse, but also providing support and assistance to the public.
It s important to note that a large proportion of violence against NHS staff in Gateshead is by patients who are unwell with diminished capability, so we need to provide specialist support, training and the appropriate level of intervention and protection .
At the hospital we also have a full range of panic alarms, security equipment and CCTV to help ensure the safety of staff and the public.
The Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust refused to disclose how much money it spent on security.
Shocking footage has emerged of a Marks & Spencer1 security guard appearing to body slam a Big Issue vendor after he refused to return to the store for questioning. Witnesses watched in disbelief as the pair wrestled on the floor outside the department store in Covent Garden, Central London. The homeless man can be heard on the video screaming get off me as he desperately tries to escape before being thrown to the cobbles like a rag doll.
He was heard howling in pain as store employees tried to haul him back inside but they let him go after the commotion drew a crowd.
The incident was caught on camera (Image: DRN) The security guard wants to get the man into the M&S store (Image: DRN) He tries to bring the vendor under control (Image: DRN)
Marks & Spencer condemned the behaviour as completely unacceptable and confirmed it is launching an immediate investigation. The dramatic video – filmed by a member of the public on a mobile phone – emerged on social media today. It shows the security guard trying to drag the man towards the store entrance with both arms pinned behind his back.
When he resists, the guard grabs him by the neck and pulls him to the pavement. He puts him in a headlock and says: Stop resisting, stop resisting.
The homeless man holds onto a lamp post in desperation (Image: DRN) The security guard has the vendor in a headlock (Image: DRN)
He manages to free himself but as he is walking away the guard appears to rush up on him from behind and wrap both arms around his shoulders. Onlookers gasp as the man is hurled off the kerb and slammed into the concrete.
Another member of staff tries to block the camera with his hand and goes to assist his colleague. The security guard says get him inside and they start trying to drag him up off the ground.
M&S has launched an investigation (Image: DRN) The homeless man is slammed to the ground (Image: DRN)
The man filming says: What you doing, mate ? Oh, my days. A large crowd gathers on the other side of the street and staff eventually decide to release the man, saying: Don t come back.
It is not known what the man was accused of. A spokeswoman for Marks & Spencer confirmed the security guard no longer works for the company.
A crowd starts to gather due to the commotion (Image: DRN) The camera man can be heard protesting against the vendors physical treatment (Image: DRN)
She added: We re very disappointed to see this footage.
“Nothing justifies this behaviour, it is completely unacceptable and is not tolerated at M&S.
This incident took place over a year ago but was not reported to us at the time.
“Nonetheless, we ve launched an immediate investigation into the incident.
This security guard no longer works on behalf of M&S and we are taking appropriate actions to ensure that this behaviour doesn t happen again. A spokeswoman for the Big Issue said: We are appalled by this shocking and apparently unprovoked attack on a vulnerable person. Big Issue sellers face all manner of hardship on the streets and are frequently subject to abuse, but we would hope that the premises of a major retailer would represent a safe environment.
As an organisation we’ve enjoyed a good relationship with Marks & Spencer over the years, so we sincerely hope this an isolated incident which will be treated as seriously as it deserves to be.
Published: 10:23 Tuesday 17 October 2017
A security guard was hit over the head by a robber while delivering cash to Morrisons this morning, police said.
The man, who works for private firm G4S, was targeted while making a delivery to the supermarket, in Squires Gate Lane, South Shore, at around 9.20am. “The offenders have grabbed a cash cassette from his hand and made off in a white car,” a force spokeswoman said in a statement. Detectives were called to the scene, while the white Hyundai i20 was found in nearby Sandon Place.1
The scene of the robbery was cordoned off, with police tape stretched around a blue G4S security van. A spokeswoman for the North West Ambulance Service did not find any record of an ambulance being called to the crime scene. Gareth Skinner, head of operational risk for G4S Cash Solutions, said: “One of our cash crews was the victim of a brazen attack during a routine service on Squires Gate Lane in Blackpool . Fortunately our colleague has not suffered any serious injuries but understandably he has been shaken by the attack.
“We are working closely with Lancashire Police and I would urge anyone who may have been nearby and seen this attack to get in touch with the police or dial 101 so that those behind it can be brought to justice. Morrisons has been approached for a comment.
- ^ Detectives were called to the scene, while the white Hyundai i20 was found in nearby Sandon Place. (www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk)