Hundreds of burglary prevention packs have been handed out to NHS staff by Gloucestershire Constabulary.
It is part of a drive to protect hospital workers from the risk of break-ins as they work long hours to battle the Covid pandemic.
Inside the 600 packs, delivered to Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust earlier this month, are timer switchers. These can be used to turn on lights when people are out, deterring burglars from attempting to get in.
Various other materials are also included in the bags to support and protect the staff.
Kim Mowday, Gloucestershire Constabulary Harm Reduction Advisor, said: “We know that, with NHS staff working longer, unsociable hours as a result of dealing with Covid, they are leaving their homes unattended for greater periods of time.
“We want to do all we can to help protect them as they work to protect us and these packs are designed to give them more peace of mind that their properties are safe.
“By using the material we are providing them with, it will work as a powerful deterrent to burglars.
“I’d also ask people to keep an eye on their neighbours’ homes during these times as well, and to call the police if they see anything suspicious, as we help to protect them as they save lives.”
Chris Brierley, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Gloucestershire, said: “Upon hearing the story of an NHS couple who’d been targeted by criminals because of their shift work, we thought this was a simple yet practical opportunity to promote our WIDE burglary prevention campaign, but also give out items like timers to help others and prevent future crimes from happening.
“We’re so grateful to our NHS workers who’ve done so much during the pandemic, we’re pleased we could find a small way to say thank you.”
Deborah Lee, Chief Executive Officer, Gloucestershire NHS Foundation Trust said: “The safety and wellbeing of our staff is a huge priority, whether they are at work or at home. We would like to thank Gloucestershire Constabulary for making these crime prevention devices available to our hospital staff for use in their own homes. We are sure they will be very well received and make a real difference.”
The WIDE campaign shows ways in which people can help protect their property through a combination of security devices which can provide 49 times more protection compared with having no devices installed.