Glasgow & West Scotland

CCTV not working at Ayrshire hospital where worker stabbed

Ailsa CCTV Image copyright PA
Image caption Signs at Ailsa Hospital say it is covered by 24-hour surveillance

CCTV cameras at a hospital in Ayr where a health worker was stabbed had not been working for several years.

The 42-year-old community support worker was attacked at Ailsa Hospital at about 10:00 on Thursday.

While the site displays notices of 24-hour CCTV surveillance, the health board confirmed the camera system was outdated and had not been operational for "a number of years".

The woman who was attacked has now been discharged from hospital.

Police Scotland said no-one had been arrested in connection with the stabbing.

The attacker is believed to be a woman, and officers have appealed for any dashcam footage from drivers who were in the area at the time.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The health board confirmed the cameras had not been working for "a number of years".

The suspect is described as about 5ft 2in to 5ft 3in tall and aged between 30 and 50 years old.

She was thought to have a slight build and pale complexion, and was wearing a dark woolly hat and a dark jacket at the time of the incident.

Police said a woman arrested on Thursday on an unrelated matter was a "person of interest", but stressed she was not a suspect "at this time" and a number of leads are being pursued.

Image caption Ailsa Hospital is operating as normal following the attack

A spokeswoman for NHS Ayrshire & Arran said: "The analogue CCTV system at Ailsa Hospital has not been operational for a number of years.

"We have an ongoing review of how to make best use of CCTV across all our sites."

Unison branch secretary Sandra Hunter union members had told her the cameras had been out of action for more than a decade.

She added: "It has taken a member of staff being seriously injured for it to come to light that this has not been operational for a number of years."

Ayr MSP John Scott said he was also concerned to learn the cameras were not operational.

He said: "People don't like CCTV cameras but they are reassured by the nonetheless, and to discover they are not working, from the reaction I've been having from my constituents this morning, I can tell you that they are shocked that this system has not been running."

The hospital and the neighbouring University Hospital Ayr were temporarily put on lockdown following the attack on Thursday but both sites later reopened and are operating as normal.

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