Total crime is down 21 percent in the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for January through December 2012 as compared to 2011, according to the Division of Public Safety, The Daily Pennsylvanian reports.
Crime has decreased by 13 percent in the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, and Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush says that of overall crime occurring in these hospitals, two of the key issues faced are simple assault and theft from the buildings, the article reports.
Most theft is of unattended items, and simple assault is defined by a lower-level attack (no broken bones, no hospitalization necessary).
But the numbers of these incidents have decreased as well. Theft of unattended items decreased 35 percent in HUP and 15 percent in Penn Presbyterian since 2011. Simple assault is down 11 percent at HUP and 50 percent at Penn Presbyterian, the article notes.
Much of the assault violence occurs when patients are not totally coherent due to prescribed or illegal medications. Violence sometimes breaks out when the friends and families of victims accompany patients to the hospital and “create a ruckus,” Rush says in the article.
In order to combat theft, HUP and Penn Presbyterian have been using unattended theft notices such as flyers so doctors and staff remain aware of their belongings, The Daily Pennsylvanian reports. At HUP, one must go through a metal detector before entering the emergency department to prevent people from bringing in illegal weapons.
Penn Presbyterian will soon be installing a metal detector as well.