Appeal for calm amid social network rumours linking alleged assault to nearby health unit

COMMENTS made on the internet concerning a Mansfield healthcare centre have led a senior police officer to issue a public appeal for calm.

Supt Richard Fretwell spoke amid ‘community concerns’ after rumours linked the St Andrews Healthcare facility at Sherwood Oaks business park with a man accused of assault.

Supt Fretwell issued the appeal yesterday following comments about the hospital on social networking sites.

The centre provides specialist care for people diagnosed with learning disabilities and autism.

“I’m aware there is some concern in the community with regards to the background of the patients at St Andrews,” he said.

“I would urge people to remain calm and not speculate or leap to any conclusions and allow the police to do their job to ensure public safety.”

The £20m unit on Sherwood Avenue was opened in September last year and employs more than 100 staff.

Added Supt Fretwell: “We are working closely with St Andrews and there are people from all sorts of backgrounds who are residents there and local people should not make assumptions about their backgrounds or why they are staying at and being treated there.

“I understand there are concerns within the community and myself, the divisional commander Dave Wakelin, and local officers have spoken to local residents and local councillors about their concerns to re-assure them.

“People who do have concerns should speak to us.”

Officers are also talking to staff and managers at the centre to ensure the safety of staff, patients and members of the public, he added.

“I’m aware of comments being made on social media sites from people, who however well-minded, do not have knowledge of the details of the alleged attack.

“We would encourage local people to resist speculating about the incident and let justice take its course.”