Camden and Islington hospitals given dedicated police team
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
A team of police officers has been assigned a novel beat – Camden and Islington’s hospitals.
The trio, overseen by Sgt Paul Taylor, is exclusively attached to the Royal Free, Whittington, UCL and Great Ormond Street hospitals.
They will help shield staff from press during high-profile cases at Great Ormond Street, remove patients that refuse to be discharged, protect nurses from assault and even attend fetes and other community events.
Sgt Taylor said the team represents “a kind of neighbourhood policing” and was created to offer “reassurance”.
“The emphasis is on staff assaults and aggression against NHS workers,” he said.
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“We want to provide a presence and a point of contact – a face the staff can get to know and trust – so we can make it easier for them to report things.”
He added that there has been no increase in hospital crime, but said: “Historically, NHS workers have just put up with it.
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“But they don’t have to put up with it anymore.”
Begun on March 1, Sgt Taylor said the response from staff has been “nothing but positive” – but added that patients’ feelings are “much harder to measure”.
He said: “We are learning as we go along – finding out what they need and what we can provide.
“But it’s community policing. We want to be around for open days and fetes as well as being at A&E on weekends.
“We’re doing anything and everything.”
The team of hospital liaison officers includes PCs Panagopoulos, Harris and Drummond.