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Airedale Hospital one of district's top ten crime hotspots
Airedale Hospital is among the district’s top ten crime hotspots and places officers are called to most often for assistance.
Figures revealed by West Yorkshire Police show Airedale NHS Trust – which operates Airedale Hospital – requested police support 172 times last year.
And Asda in Bingley Street, Keighley, called out officers 99 times.
Non-residential addresses where most crimes were recorded included Keighley’s Morrisons store – with 113 recorded crimes and 31 arrests – and Sainsbury’s Cavendish Street supermarket, where there were 92 recorded crimes and 16 arrests.
Despite the figures, West Yorkshire Police say incident levels are falling – in some cases bucking a national trend of increased shoplifting – because of work done by officers to tackle the root cause of problems.
And statistics suggest police and businesses working together are making life too difficult for criminals at some of the places they previously favoured.
Although some offences at supermarkets include violence, drugs and other issues, the bulk of the crimes are made up of shoplifting and filling station ‘drive-offs’.
Police superintendent Scott Bisset said officers worked with businesses and hospitals to identify problems and find ways of reducing crime or demands on police resources.
He added hospital sites presented different challenges, with large volumes of staff and visitors on individual sites, including many who could be regarded as vulnerable. As such, high numbers of calls would be expected by police.
Stacey Hunter, director of operations at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, said any violence or abuse towards its staff was unacceptable.
She added: “Staff need to be able to go about their jobs and provide patient care without the fear of being abused, and in the knowledge they have the skills, training and support to deal with situations when they do occur.
“We work closely with our onsite security partners to ensure support is provided to staff in areas across the hospital where patients or the public can become physically abusive, and we provide conflict resolution training for all front-line staff, whose work brings them in to contact with members of the public, so they can try to diffuse situations before they escalate.
“However, we also recognise that at times violence and aggression may be symptomatic of a patient’s condition, which needs to be managed in an appropriate, safe and professional manner, and involve the police only when it becomes necessary to do so.”
Keighley Central councillor Khadim Hussain – the Lord Mayor of Bradford – said many of the crimes at supermarkets were lower level incidents, but he added: “Whatever the level, these are still crimes and they cannot be justified – offenders should be punished accordingly.”