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Nurses join forces with Crime Stoppers to stamp out violence

In response to escalating violence against nurses and midwives at hospital sites around South Australia, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) has today announced a partnership with Crime Stoppers designed to create a safer environment for health care staff and stop attacks.

As the nation’s most trusted information reporting service, Crime Stoppers provides people with the opportunity to anonymously share what they know about unsolved crimes and suspicious activity.

Most importantly, the partnership allows for people to take a proactive role in community safety without having to say who they are, with recent national research confirming that 81% of Australians believe the option to remain anonymous is incredibly important.

“This partnership reinforces ANMF (SA Branch)’s commitment to the implementation of practical and effective measures to address violence in the workplace and ultimately keep nursing and midwifery staff and the wider community safe,’’ ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Assoc Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM said.

“While we welcome the work that has been done by SA Health on their Challenging Behaviour Strategic Framework, health care workers need practical solutions implemented now. This partnership announcement is another step towards making work sites safer.

“Prominent signage will be placed around car parks which have sadly been the site for a number of serious assaults, including one incident last year which left a nurse with stab injuries to her neck,’’ Ms Dabars said.

Crime Stoppers spokesperson, Sharon Hanlon, said everyone has a responsibility to keep their eyes and ears open to identify and put a stop to those wanting to harm others.

“We know that often a criminal will stake out an area before attacking a person, and that is why it is important for everyone using car parks and at-risk areas to be on the lookout for a car or any person acting suspiciously – even if no obvious crime has been committed,” Ms Hanlon said.

“An average of 25 crimes are solved each and every week in South Australia thanks to information provided by the community to Crime Stoppers, and we hope that people share what they know to make sure our nurses and frontline health staff stay safe,” she said.

“We also want people to step up when an attacker has been caught on CCTV and share what they know, because rarely are these crimes committed in isolation. Maybe you’ve heard someone in your social circle talking about involvement in an attack, perhaps they have property that isn’t theirs, maybe they match the description of a suspect – that’s when contacting Crime Stoppers can make all the difference.”

If someone sees a crime occurring or needs police assistance, they should call 000 in an emergency or 131 444 to have police attend. For anyone who has information about an unsolved crime or suspicious behaviour they can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report at www.crimestoppers.com.au

ANMF (SA Branch), in partnership with Crime Stoppers, will be working with sites across SA to roll out the implementation of this initiative.

PICTURE: ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Assoc Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM and Crime Stoppers spokesperson, Sharon Hanlon, explain the partnership to Adelaide media