Fourteen hospitals in Wales have started chaining children's toys and other playthings to beds in an attempt to prevent thieves from stealing them. The Royal Gwent Hospital is using bicycle locks to keep its toysfrom being stolen. Dean Beddis, father of a two-year-old who was a patient in the children's ward, said hewas appalled that anyone would steal toys from a hospital. He told reporters: "These toys are there for kids who are seriously ill. They're provided by the hospital and people are stealing them. I was shocked to see that a children's toy had a bike lock on it." He added: "I was talking to the nurses about how disgusting it was that they had to do that because they were saying that people had been stealing them."
A hospital spokesman said: "Unfortunately we do get toys and games taken from our hospitals. It is not a regular occurrence but we do encourage staff to secure and lock away the more popular and more expensive items. Our hospitals have CCTV coverage and security on site at all times." He added: "As with any large buildings open to the public, we advise visitors and our own staff to be vigilant with valuables." It is not only toys that are being stolen. The television in the waiting room of the children's ward has also gone missing. Mr Beddis said: "Stealing toys while the hospital staff are looking after their children is a sad reflection on society. I cannot believe this is happening in Britain."