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Last Updated: Monday, 8 May 2006, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
Victims of violence urged to talk
Ayr Hospital
Ayr Hospital is one of the eight taking part in the pilot scheme
Free phones are being installed in eight hospitals in Strathclyde in an attempt to encourage victims of violence to contact police.

The pilot scheme funded by the Violence Reduction Unit will see phones located in A&E wards in the coming weeks.

Karyn McCluskey, of the VRU, said the trauma of violence and the ban on mobile phones in hospitals made it difficult to report violent crime.

A&E consultant Dr Duncan Gray welcomed the initiative.

Ms McCluskey said police were keen to encourage more victims of violence to contact them, and added that a recent study suggested violent crimes were under-reported by more than 50%.

HOSPITALS TAKING PART IN THE PILOT SCHEME
Inverclyde Royal
Royal Alexandra
Vale of Leven
Hairmyres
Crosshouse
Monklands
Glasgow Royal Infirmary
Ayr

"Clearly, we need to be able to place our resources right where incidents of violence are occurring," she said.

"Obviously, we have a pretty good idea where violence is likely to take place, but this data provided by the free phones will provide us with that crucial piece of additional information."

The initiative was aimed at reducing the number of violent victims in A&E departments and violent assaults throughout Scotland, she added.

Assault cases

Dr Gray said serious injuries and deaths caused by assaults made up a large part of hospitals' workload.

"This new initiative to provide phones to encourage patients to report assaults follows another initiative we are piloting together with the Violence Reduction Unit," he said.

"This involves forms being provided in our department for assault patients to complete with details of the assault they were involved in.

"The data is anonymous and is passed to the police to help them focus their resources more effectively on areas where assaults have been occurring."




SEE ALSO:
Anti-violence campaign under way
27 Mar 06 |  Scotland


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