Hospital crimes in South Somerset on the decline, figures show

Chard Community Hospital.

Chard Community Hospital.

First published in News Yeovil Express: Photograph of the Author by

OVER 2,000 crimes have been reported at hospitals in Avon and Somerset since 2010 – but only three of them took place at those in Chard and Crewkerne.

Information from the police following a Freedom of Information request also shows the number of crimes committed at each NHS hospital in Somerset.

Yeovil District Hospital saw 108 reported offences between 2010 and 2013 with eight in the first half of 2014.

Most of these offences – a total of 44 – were incidents of violence, followed by 37 reported thefts.

2010 saw 40 recorded crimes at Yeovil Hospital, but only 16 last year.

Ahospital spokesman said: “We operate a zero tolerance policy against violence to our staff and patients.

“Any crimes that take place in the Trust are reported to the police.

“The safety of our staff and patients is our highest priority, and we have a security team who regularly patrol the site on a daily basis.

“Incidences of crime have been reducing and we’ll continue to work closely with the police to reduce these further.”

The figures also show just two recorded crimes at Chard Community Hospital since 2010 – criminal damage in 2011 and theft in 2013 – and one at Crewkerne Community Hospital – theft in 2013.

There have been 2,217 crimes reported at all hospitals in the Avon and Somerset area in the past 4½ years.

Most of these offences – a total of 93 – were thefts, but there were also 41 incidents of violence.

A Musgrove Park Hospital spokesman in Taunton said they also have a zero tolerance policy towards violence or abuse, physical or verbal.

He said: “We actively encourage staff and, where possible, patients to keep their belongings safe while on the hospital grounds.

“On occasions where personal belongings of staff and patients have been reported as stolen we’ve worked closely with the police to support the recovery of the property wherever possible.

“Crimes at Musgrove are reducing, and we hope that by continuing to raise awareness of our zero tolerance towards crime we’ll keep levels to a minimum, if at all.”

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