Crime levels driven down at James Paget Hospital

ROBUST security measures at the James Paget University Hospital have seen the number of reported crimes drop in the last three years.

Reported crimes at the hospital include a firearms offence, possession of a blade and a theft by an employee, according to police data.

The majority of reported incidents are theft, but the number of reported crimes has been driven down from 20 in 2009-10 to 18 in 2010-11 to 10 in 2011-12.

Of the 48 reported crimes since April 2009, 23 of them were theft, including a theft by an employee in November 2011 - nobody has been charged in connection with the alleged offence.

A spokesman for the JPH said: “We take the security of our patients, staff and public very seriously.

“It’s a delicate balancing act between having open and accessible services to the public and maintaining passive and active security measures that can deter, and help detect crimes should they be committed.”

The JPH uses proximity cards, has keypad access to key areas and uses CCTV in and around the hospital.

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“We also have staff trained in security techniques to help prevent and deal with any criminal activity and ensure our hospitals are as safe as they can be,” added the spokesman.

Among the more serious incidents at the JPH was a firearms offence -one person was charged with possession of a firearm with intent after the incident in February 2011.

In November 2011, an offender was charged with possession of a blade at the hospital, and police say they are working with hospital security bosses to make the JPH as safe as possible.

A Norfolk Police spokesman said: “Norfolk Constabulary works closely with partners including our local hospitals and healthcare providers to ensure the community can use these facilities safely, and that any incidents or offences reported are dealt with appropriately.”

Some of the incidents of theft took place outside the hospital building but within the grounds of the JPH.

Of the 23 thefts, one was of a bicycle in April 2009 and another was of a motor vehicle in August 2010 - no charges have been brought in either case.

A number of incidents involve causing public fear, including a person charged with causing racially or religiously aggravated public fear, alarm or distress at the JPH in July 2010. People were charged with assaulting and injuring police constable at the JPH in three separate incidents in December 2009 and November 2010.

At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) there were 59 reported crimes in 2009-10, 15 in 2010-11 and 19 in 2011-12.

The details of crimes committed at hospitals were released by Norfolk Constabulary under the Freedom of Information Act, requested by the Mercury.