Fears of attacks backlash at hospitals

CHRIS BISHOP Police are visiting hospitals across East Anglia to advise NHS staff on personal security, amid fears foreign doctors and health workers could be targeted in a backlash over last weekend's terror attacks.

CHRIS BISHOP

Police are visiting hospitals across East Anglia to advise NHS staff on personal security, amid fears foreign doctors and health workers could be targeted in a backlash over last weekend's terror attacks.

The news came as it was revealed that syringes stolen from the health service were used for detonators in three car bombs which failed to explode in London and Glasgow.

Last night, it emerged officers from Norfolk police's Hate Crime Unit have spoken to staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in King's Lynn and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. They are also due to visit the James Paget Hospital.

An NHS source said advice given to foreign staff was to

be extra observant and report any incidents which appeared racially-motivated straight away.

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Seven of the eight suspects in the failed attacks had links to the NHS. Six were doctors and one was a laboratory assistant. The disclosure has sparked fears of reprisals against health workers, up to 40pc of whom come from abroad.

India's prime minister Manmohan Singh has telephoned Gordon Brown to voice concerns Indian nationals, who make up a sizeable number of foreign doctors, could be targeted.

A warning to QEH workers was yesterday published in Viewpoint - the hospital's staff newsletter.

It says: "Since last weekend's attacks and subsequent revelation that NHS-employed doctors might have been involved, police have been anticipating a potential backlash from the public."

"Police forces across the country are co-operating in the national response to the terrorist attacks, codenamed Operation Quantum. They are being told the issues that communities face are a general fear that there will be further attacks and certain groups will be singled out for blame and retaliation.

"There may well be an increase in attacks, verbal abuse and damage against people from certain racial and faith groups."

Scottish health officials

said the terror suspect fighting for his life after

the car bomb attack on Glasgow Airport had been transferred to a specialist burns unit, as further

details of his background emerged.

Kafeel Ahmed, 27, doused himself in petrol and set light to himself in the attack on Saturday.

He is thought to have been the driver of the Jeep Cherokee which burst into flames as it was rammed into the terminal building.

The Glasgow attack came

24 hours after two Mercedes packed with petrol, gas canisters and nails were found in London's West End.

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