The scheme, which is the first of its kind in Lincolnshire, will allow the volunteers to talk to visitors, staff and patients within the hospital. This could include issuing advice on crime prevention, as well as building trust between hospital users and the police service available.
The project was a joint venture between United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s (ULHT) administration team, the hospital volunteer service and local Sergeant Matt Dickinson, to improve police engagement opportunities at the hospital. The volunteers will also staff the front counter of the police office on the hospital site, making police services more accessible for those attending the hospital.
The volunteers will give advice on reporting crime, crime prevention, security, and also have a role establishing relationships, and supporting the local policing team already based there, and will be available on Tuesdays and Fridays between 11am and 4pm.
Sgt Matt Dickinson said: “This is an excellent scheme which will allow us to target some of the most vulnerable people in the area who may have been the victim of a crime; scammers and rogue traders routinely target elderly and vulnerable people. We are fortunate that the volunteers will provide additional capacity and will not detract from policing the Boston area, but will instead allow for a healthier presence within the police office, and an ability to be proactive within the hospital.
“I want to remind residents that our police officers, and our volunteers, are available to anyone. We are proactively working with the hospital, but our volunteers and indeed our policing teams are available to anyone who needs them.
“This is a great opportunity for our volunteers to meet vulnerable people within the hospital and issue them with really important advice that could stop them from becoming the victim of crime when they leave the hospital.”
Claire Hall, ULHT’s Associate Director of Strategic Business Planning said: “We’re really pleased to be extending our working relationship with Lincolnshire Police. The presence of police volunteers will mean increased opportunities for us to work more closely together.”
Anyone who is interested in volunteering and taking part in this initiative, please contact [email protected]