Officers were called to the unit in Greater Manchester last night following reports a vast amount of PPE was taken. Police described the theft from the unit at the Trafalgar Business Park as a “sickening” and “shocking” act as NHS workers die battling the virus. Police also stated the theft took place between 9.30-11.30pm on Wednesday night.
CCTV displayed three offenders arrive at the business park in separate vehicles.
Chris Mannion, detective inspector for Greater Manchester Police said: “Today we have launched an investigation into a burglary that occurred overnight here at Trafalgar Business Park here in Salford, where an estimated £166,000 worth of protective face masks has been stolen.
“We believe this burglary took place between 9:30pm and 11:30pm last night, and we have been working throughout the day to gather as much information that could lead us to the perpetrator of this crime.
“Our enquiries so far have suggested there are three offenders in dark clothing, at least two of them are men and they were also believed to have made off in three separate vehicles.
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“A white Mercedes Sprinter van, a grey Volkswagen caddy van, and a grey silver estate vehicle.
“It is striking how deliberate and calculated and targeted this incident was.
“The offenders were at the scene for around two hours, and no other items other than the PPE were stolen.
“This is a particularly sickening crime when you consider that the PPE was intended the NHS and for care home workers.
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“And at a time where we are trying to protect the NHS, and one another against one common enemy in COVID-19.
“To know that there are individuals out there that are prepared to steal the equipment, that keeps the front-line workers and vulnerable safe is quite frankly shocking, and I am determined that we catch these perpetrators as soon as possible.”
No arrests have been made.
NHS staff have struggled to receive adequate PPE throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
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This month, the British Medical Association revealed almost half of all doctors surveyed have relied upon donations of PPE or have been forced to purchase it themselves.
In a survey of 16,343 doctors, 48 percent of doctors said they had been forced to look elsewhere for PPE.
In further damming news of the PPE crisis in the UK, a shipment of 400,000 gowns from Turkey which had been previously delayed, has been found to be short of UK standards.
The equipment has now been impounded in a warehouse near Heathrow Airport after arriving in the UK last month according to The Daily Telegraph.
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The Prime Minister’s spokesman confirmed the UK was now in conversations with the Turkish government over a refund or replacement gowns.
They added: “An initial deposit was paid and the NHS is in discussions with the supplier over whether replacement gowns can be manufactured to meet our standards.
“If this is not possible a refund will be sought.”
Northern Ireland Secretary, Brandon Lewis said: “Well when we’re securing PPE from around the world you do it based on a set of standards that you’re looking to acquire to, but obviously once it’s here we check that it is good enough for what we want to use and in this instance some of this PPE turned out not to be good enough.”
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“There was a view that it was good enough PPE, it is only when it has got here that teams have looked at it again and taken a view that it is not up to the right standard and they’ve decided not to use it.
“I think it is right that if we have got particular standards for what we want our frontline staff to be able to have access to we make sure we stick to that.
“If something isn’t right, if we’re not even sure about it then I think it is better to be safe and not use that product and stick with products we are confident are the right products and the right standards.”
Published at Thu, 07 May 2020 19:11:00 +0000