ATTACKS: Make use of the cameras

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I read with interest Ray Pate’s response to David Norris’ comments about access near Blyth Community Hospital, (News Post Leader, February 22).

Following three assaults in the car park in recent months the trust decided to block the route, which was used as a means of escape by the perpetrator.

Mr Pate stated that: “The trust takes the safety of its staff and patients very seriously so it has blocked this route to help prevent a similar occurrence.”

If the trust takes employee and public safety so seriously, why did it not ensure that the CCTV camera sited right next to this cut-through was in working order?

My sister was one of the people who were attacked. She had just got into her car and her handbag was stolen.

If the trust had repaired the CCTV camera, the police may have been able to identify and arrest the thief, who did not have his face covered, and prevent two further attacks, or at least have evidence with which to prosecute the person.

This would be a much more effective means of preventing this thief continuing to attack others.

Closing the cut does not “help prevent a similar occurrence”, nor will it “avoid anyone else being attacked in the same way”.

In reality, the thief will probably still attack and steal from others, and all this closure will achieve is that he moves his attacks to another spot.

Hopefully, all the other CCTV cameras around the hospital are working.

While not a public right of way, the closing of the cut does seem like a real-life example of the old saying about closing the stable door, especially when modern technology offers an alternative that could have led to the thief being apprehended, which would have been a much more satisfactory way of dealing with the matter.

Perhaps Mr Pate would inform us of when the first of these attacks was and how soon after that the CCTV camera was fixed. That would reassure us more that the trust is taking safety seriously.

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Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust says it has been working for more than two years on tackling anti-social behaviour and has introduced a number of measures. The installation of a new CCTV system is almost complete.