UK

Welsh Hospital Chaining Toys To Children's Beds After Spate Of Thefts

12/01/2015 08:37 GMT | Updated 12/01/2015 12:59 GMT

A hospital has had to start chaining toys to the beds of sick children after a spate of thefts.

Parents have branded the thieves "disgusting", and said they were shocked to discover that toys for seriously ill children had to be securely attached to stop them being swiped.

Dean Beddis, 49, took a photograph of his two-year-old son Soren trying to play with a toy locked to his cot at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, Wales.

toy

A child at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, South Wales, with a chained-up toy

Beddis, a businessman whose son has bronchitis, told Media Wales "These toys are there for seriously ill kids, they're provided by the hospital and people are stealing them.

"I was shocked to see a toy had a bike lock on it attaching it to the cot. I was talking to the nurses about how disgusting it was they had to do that."

A source at the hospital said: "I wish this was a joke but it is actually true. It has been going on for at least four months. As far as I know quite a few toys have been stolen."

It is understood that staff have been told to lock all doors after leaving a room as an extra precaution against thieves.

Many hospitals have found themselves targeted by thieves. In December 2012 toys and computer games intended for seriously sick children at University Hospital of North Staffordshire were stolen.

The same month, wrapped Christmas presents destined for ill children at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London were also swiped.