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Kent Police called to 6,000 incidents at medical facilities

By KentOnline reporter

by Ellis Stephenson and Louisa Britton

A rise in violent crime has been attributed for police being called to more than 6,000 incidents at medical facilities across Kent.

The data, following a Freedom of Information request by KMTV, shows there were 6,287 call-outs to GP surgeries, hospitals and other medical facilities between 2015 and November 15 this year.

These could have happened in the building itself or on an outside road or car park.

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Attacks against medical staff have been condemned
Attacks against medical staff have been condemned

Surgeries called the authorities 204 times in 2015, 188 in 2016 and 143 this year.

That number jumps when you look at the number of incidents recorded at hospitals.

There were 2,069 calls in 2015, 1,736 in 2016 and 1,593 in 2017.

Data for other medical facilities shows 124 calls for help were made in 2015, 136 the following year and 94 this year.

The figures do not include crimes reported to have happened at places with the words "dental" and "veterinary" in its name.

Kent's police and crime commissioner, Matthew Scott, said: "I hope that the campaign work that's been going on in certain hospitals shows we can be polite with respect instead of acting in a violent way.

"That's when people will be dealt with by a police officer.

"It's a clear choice for people here and it's absolutely vital we do all we can together to protect emergency workers from harm."

Meanwhile, Ken Rogers from the Campaign for Health in East Kent (CHEK) said: "I think it's amazing that people think, because they're going to hospital that they feel it's right for them to abuse the staff there.

"We shouldn't let them in to the A&Es.

"People do kick off for whatever reason and I don't think we should be putting doctors in that violent position.

"I think anything that puts nurses off going to work and going in to the profession is bad.

"I think all of the NHS is under pressure at the moment, we don't need anything else to stop nurses working."

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