Hospital gets new police beat base
Police officers on a King's Lynn beat now have their own base at the town's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
The Gaywood, Fairstead and Reffley Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) will be able to meet members of the public and have a base at the heart of their area with the official launch of the new office yesterday.
Sgt Jason Selvarajah said the move would mean the SNT had a base where officers would be highly-visible to members of the public, staff and patients.
'We wanted to increase our visible presence and to provide community reassurance while working in partnership with the hospital's own security.
'There will be an officer here on a daily basis as it is part of the patrol and it gives us a focus point within the community,' he said.
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He said the hospital had a staff 'community' of its own of around 4,000 people as well as patients and visitors.
Security arrangements at the QEH already include a round-the-clock presence by security guards from private company Securitas.
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Gary Morris, the hospital's security management specialist, said the move to have police officers on site would be a great benefit.
'I think this is good for the community and I think it provides another opportunity to have a presence in our environment,' he said.
Mr Morris added that there had been no problems at the hospital which necessitated the move, but said the idea was to work together to reassure the community.
He said police officers were often at the hospital for any number of reasons and the new office meant they have a permanent base there.
QEH deputy chief executive Mark Henry said he was 'delighted' with the move.
'The logistics of the new office means the officers do not have to go back to their base to complete any work.
'They can do it here which will also save time,' he said.
A police officer will be at the base at some point each day, but there are no specific set times.
Full-time security guards began working at the hospital in February this year.
Prior to Securitas taking up the role, hospital porters were doubling-up when needed to help.