Waking up to the incident where a baby was stolen from Vani Vilas Hospital, hospital authorities have swung into action introducing new security measures. For the first time in the State, electronic article surveillance system similar to the one used in shopping malls will be used in the hospital.
The technology will be used in the form of bands which will be tied to the babies' wrists or legs. In case a child is taken out, the theft detector in the door frame will beep.
The technology is presently used in a few government and private hospitals in Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
Not the first case
Meanwhile, it has emerged from investigations that this was not the first such incident where a baby has been stolen from the Vani Vilas Hospital. In the past 10 years, at least 12 cases have been reported, of which only one case has been solved.
Sources in the police said the reason could be because a majority of patients at the hospital belong to economically weaker sections, many of who come to the city to work as labourers. They are ignorant of procedures and unable to fight it out in court later, they said.
The police also pointed out that the CCTVs installed in the hospital do not have night vision cameras and have not covered all entry and exit points.
The hospital has decided to install more CCTVs as well as keep just one entry and exit point each to tackle the problem. O. Sidappa, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, told The Hindu that they had approached the Home Guards for security. Presently, the hospital is guarded by private security guards.
“We have recommended action against the guards and have asked for Home Guards for the hospital,” he said. Police sources too admitted that this would be a better alternative to asking for police protection as the Victoria Hospital Police Station is already short-staffed.