A London-based nurse, currently working on the frontline to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, has revealed her shock after four of her colleagues were mugged at knifepoint.
The NHS worker, who wished to remain anonymous, opened up to OK! Online after sharing a heartbreaking Instagram post revealing a number of staff members at her hospital had been targeted in the past few days.
The 30-year-old female nurse, who works at one of London's largest hospitals, shared a WhatsApp message she'd received from a friend on Sunday night on her Instagram page, which revealed various muggings had taken place on nurses in broad day light.
In the message, the unnamed nurse is warned to "be careful coming in and leaving work," after various staff members at the same hospital were mugged for their NHS ID badges.
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The message, sent from a fellow nurse, read: "Oh and in more good news, be careful coming in and leaving work as 4 members of staff have been mugged in the past couple of days, in daylight as well, because fewer people are around the muggers are just going for it."
The nurse wrote on top of the screenshot: "Some really sickening news from yesterday… 4 members of staff have been mugged at KNIFE point when leaving their shift." [sic]
She continued: "It would seem these mugs are after our phones and ID badges." [sic]
In a heartbreaking message, the nurse added: "As if work isn't scary enough at the minute. Please look after one another. Action needs to be taken to keep our streets safe just now."
After sharing the shocking messages on her social media, the 30 year old NHS worker told OK! Online: "Thankfully I didn't experience any of these muggings first hand, and my thoughts go out to the four members of staff who did. It's awful.
"Four members of staff – on leaving their shift – were mugged at knife point, which is obviously terrifying and they wanted their phones and ID badges."
The nurse said she believes that the muggings could have come as a result of thieves trying to get hold of the various NHS staff deals, which have been offered as a result of their bravery and hard work during the coronavirus pandemic.
She added: "At first I thought maybe the muggers wanted hand sanitisers or medication to be stealing things from the hospital, but on further thought I realised that it's probably low life people wanting the NHS discounts and the perks health workers are getting for continuing to work and continuing to go into a very dangerous environment."
The nurse shared her heartbreak over the spout of crime. She told us: "It's really, really sad. It's obviously very, very upsetting. We're being given these perks because we're going to work. Everyone else is being told to stay at home for their own safety."
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She added that she is now "terrified" to go to work because of the current circumstances around the pandemic and the muggings.
"Going to work at the moment is terrifying," she said. "Every single shift we have no idea what we're going into or what we're going to be looking after that day.
"To be then be faced with a potential mugging at knife point is really unimaginable. Really, really scary."
The nurse also believes that opportunists are "going for it," as a result of the streets being quieter than usual.
She added: "I really think something needs to be done to protect our streets through this time if we don't want things to get worse."
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To get around this harrowing issue, she told us she believes we need to "support each other".
"When us NHS workers are the ones who don't really have a choice and have to go to work and put our own lives at risk for others, people really shouldn't be taking advantage of the thank you's that companies are giving us for that," she added.
The nurse continued: "Some companies really want to show their gratitude to us and then you get another half of people who just want to take advantage of it which is really, really sad.
"It's also really sad to think that people would want to steal from the NHS. In a weird way through this time I've actually sat back and felt quite grateful that I am nurse and that I'm always going to be needed."
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