Lancashire Police have confirmed that they are investigating a sexual offence after an unknown male intruder was found by a staff member in a resident's room at New Thursby Nursing Home on Clifton Drive, in Lytham St Annes.
Police were alerted just before 5am on 4 August, after an unknown male intruder was found by a staff member in a resident's room. The attacker then fled via the same window of the ground floor room in the care home.
The police have warned the general public to be cautious and are appealing for witnesses of the crime to come forward. The man is described as "wearing all black clothing”. The victim is receiving support and family members have been made aware of the situation.
Blackpool Police Detective Inspector Jamie Lillystone said it was a very concerning incident but wanted to reassure people that the police were doing everything in their power to find the person responsible, including working with a number of specialist units.
He announced: “We have a team of detectives working on the investigation and patrols have been stepped up in the area. We do not want to concern people but would like to take this opportunity to remind people to make sure they secure windows and doors."
Every year, when the weather gets warmer, the police start to see a rise in burglaries and intrusions as people leave more windows open. In the UK these spikes begin around May and carry on until the end of September, depending on the weather.
NHS heatwave advice for care home managers and staff suggests a number of actions to be completed by the end of May each year to prepare premises for hot weather. They include checking that windows can be shaded, preferably by curtains with pale, reflective linings rather than by metal venetian blinds and curtains with dark linings, which can make conditions worse. Also, outside shading can be increased in the form of shutters, shades, trees or leafy plants.
Checks include ensuring that there are no problems opening windows while acknowledging security considerations; this could involve considering secondary locking points, enabling windows to be safely open with a small gap for ventilation.
Staff need to know which rooms are the easiest to keep cool and which are the most difficult, and review the distribution of residents according to those most at risk. By creating cool rooms or cool areas that maintain a temperature at 26°C or below, care homes should be able to provide a cool area for high-risk individuals.
It is recommended that indoor thermometers be installed in each room in which vulnerable individuals spend substantial time, such as bedrooms and living and eating areas, and during a heatwave these temperatures should be monitored at least four times a day.
Care homes can also check that they have an adequate supply of fans and water sprays, that water and ice are widely available as well as a supply of oral rehydration salts, orange juice and bananas, and should plan to adapt menus to cold meals preferably with a high water content in consultation with residents.
NHS advice is available at www.nhs.uk.
Last reviewed 13 August 2019