Patients at a hospital in Durham will benefit from a heightened police presence over the Christmas in a bid to crack down on troublemakers.
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Two uniformed officers will patrol the accident and emergency department of the University Hospital of North Durham from 7pm on Friday until the early hours, and will also be on hand on New Year’s Eve.
New legislation under the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act which came into force last month, addresses the problem of disorderly behaviour in NHS hospitals, including disruption to staff.
The law now gives police officers the power to remove a person “reasonably suspected of committing, or having committed, the offence in section 119 from the NHS premises concerned”.
Sergeant Colin Dobson said: “By developing closer links with the hospital we can provide an increased visible presence on the premises.
“Disorder will not be tolerated and officers will be using the new legislation which is designed to protect NHS staff.”