State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery, has called for the immediate installation of CCTV and security patrols around the John Hunter Hospital staff car parks following another incident last week which saw a staff members car set on fire and destroyed.
The incident highlighted concerns from staff about the increasing number of issues staff are facing in the car park with reports of cars being broken into and stolen.
Staff also raised concerns about feeling unsafe walking back to their vehicles late at night or in the early hours of the morning. None of the car parking areas have CCTV or are patrolled by car parking or security personnel.
Ms Hornery has written to the Minister for Health and the Chief Executive of Hunter Health asking for an update on what they are doing to increase safety for workers and calling for the installation of CCTV in the area.
“I was shocked, like most people, to discover that the staff car parks at John Hunter Hospital are not covered by CCTV or security patrols,” Ms Hornery said.
“Last week a nurse returned to the car park to find her car and her possessions, including her wedding and engagement rings, had been set on fire and completely destroyed.
“Due to a lack of CCTV in the area there is very little that investigators can do to try to identify the people responsible.
“Staff have reported ongoing issues with cars being broken into on a regular basis and cars being stolen form the car parks.
“Of a greater concern is the reports from staff about feeling unsafe when leaving work and walking back to their cars after dark.
“A workforce that is made up, predominantly of women, should feel safe while at work, and that includes getting back to your car safely.
“I have written to the Health Minister and head of Hunter Health and asked for an update on what they are doing to increase safety for workers and calling on them to install CCTV in the area and have security patrols,” said Ms Hornery.