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Police investigating criminal damage after GP front door smashed

Police investigating criminal damage after GP front door smashed

The police are investigating a criminal damage incident at a GP practice in York where the glass front door was smashed in. 

GP partner Dr Abbie Brooks told Pulse the incident ‘feels like a kick in the face’ given how hard the practice team is working under ‘difficult’ circumstances.

In the early morning on Wednesday, Park View Surgery was ‘vandalised’ and police were informed, according to an update on the practice website. 

North Yorkshire Police has now issued a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to in connection with the incident. 

A spokesperson for the police force said: ‘This appears to have been an incident of criminal damage rather than an attempted burglary. 

‘It happened just after 3.30am on Wednesday (21 February) and enquiries are ongoing to identify the suspect.’

Credit: Abbie Brooks on X

The practice has since informed patients that the door has been repaired and they can enter again through the front of the surgery. 

In October, the same surgery started an appeal directly to patients after its staff members received multiple death threats.

Threats included patients telling GPs they would have ‘someone waiting to grab them on the way to their cars’. 

Dr Brooks told Pulse the response to their media campaign was ‘incredible’ and it felt like ‘things were in a better place’, so the incident this week has come ‘a little bit out of the blue’.

She said: ‘It’s really frustrating because we’re stupendously busy at the moment, and that’s not going to die down any time soon. 

‘I think it just feels like a kick in the face, as it were – you’re trying your best but still people think it’s OK to do that. How much harder do we have to work to get the general understanding that it’s a difficult place to work at the moment?’

Dr Brooks also said she would ‘probably prefer if it was a burglary’ rather than a suspected incident of criminal damage.

‘The worry that we have is that if it’s a patient that’s disgruntled – what are they going to do next? Do we need to worry about that? Is there ongoing risk to our staff?’ she added.

A similar incident took place just before Christmas at a GP practice in Bristol, where windows and glass panels were smashed – a man was later charged with criminal damage and abusive behaviour.

Last month, a man was jailed for 20 weeks after he ‘racially abused’ and ‘threatened to shoot’ a GP at a surgery in Doncaster.

And in Sheffield, a man was arrested in November following a ‘violent attack’ at practice, where two GP registrars were assaulted with a baseball bat.