Page last updated at 11:00 GMT, Thursday, 29 January 2009

Police cut hospital crime in half

Hospital ward
The hospital policing costs 65,000 a year

Crime at Cornwall's main hospital has been nearly halved since it introduced resident police officers 10 years ago, security managers say.

The number of crimes at the Royal Cornwall Hospital has fallen from 110 a year to 57 over the decade.

Offences investigated included thefts, public order incidents and assaults.

Two years ago the hospital planned to end the contract with Devon and Cornwall Police to save money but had a last-minute rethink.

The Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust's head of security, Stuart Harrison, a retired police officer, said the work the officers had done to cut crime was vital.

He said: "We have approximately 5,000 staff, which equates to a medium-sized town in Cornwall.

"It's very busy during the day, and we have periods during Friday and Saturday nights, when it can get very busy from towns with late-night revellers and the alcohol-induced problems that sometimes brings."

Two years ago, the financially-pressed hospital trust planned to end the 65,000-a-year contract with Devon and Cornwall police.

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