Posts Tagged ‘Addressing Personal Safety/Conflict Resolution issues for council employees’

Council staff attack figure shock –Report by Natalie Crockett 27 December 2010

Posted in current affairs, Uncategorized on January 13th, 2011 by Chris – 1 Comment

A Teacher who was stabbed in the chest with a pen by a pupil is one of more than 600 recorded attacks on Gwent council staff in the past two years.
Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show 632 recorded physical attacks on members of staff across the five Gwent councils including Newport, Monmouthshire, Torfaen, Blaenau Gwent and Caerphilly.
Many of the attacks were on teachers, but there was no breakdown of the exact figures for the attacks on them.
Physical attacks ranged from head butts, punches, bites and kicks, mainly carried out by pupils towards teachers, the worst of which involved a teacher being stabbed in the chest with a pen by a pupil.
Dominic MacAskill, head of local government at public sector union UNISON said councils needed to continue working with the trade unions to put in place better health and safety protocols to protect front line workers and ensure that incidents were minimised.
He added: “Health and safety of public servants cannot be compromised even in this age of austerity.”
All the local authorities told the Argus violence or threats to their staff was unacceptable and staff safety is seen as of paramount importance.
Read More about attacks on Local government staff at:
Protecting Council employees from attacks of Violence & Aggression
Shock at attacks on council’s staff

Northampton Chronicle 03.Jan 2011

Members of the public were violent or aggressive towards staff from Northampton Borough Council more than 80 times in the past 20 months, latest figures have revealed.
The statistics, which have been obtained by the Chronicle & Echo using the Freedom of Information Act, show that between April 2009 and December 2010, a total of 86 reports of violence or aggression against council staff were recorded.
In response, the council banned six members of the public from entering council offices and one person was given an ASBO.
Read more about attacks on council staff at:
Attacks on council staff are revealed by the Journal Jan 4 2011
More than 1,500 council workers a year are attacked in the North East, new figures reveal. On average more than five members of staff, including traffic wardens, teachers and care workers, are physically or verbally attacked in the North East every day.
And union leaders have raised fears that attacks could become more common as the public feels the pressure of the recession and council cuts lead to fewer staff on the job.
There were 5,019 attacks across the councils between the start of 2008 and October this year.
The information includes workers from all departments of councils. Attacks include physical violence, threats racist abuse and sexual assault.
Members of staff were stabbed, punched, kicked, bitten and hit by thrown objects.
Many of the attacks were carried out by children in care or adults with care needs, others by members of the public.
Although asked for the information by The Journal, in many cases councils were not able to say whether arrests had been made or charges brought.
Among the many attacks on teachers was a member of staff whose nose was broken by a pupil in an attack in 2009.
In Northumberland in June 2009, a worker in a children’s home was head-butted in the mouth, causing a split gum, while a colleague was slapped by the same resident.
“There’s a danger that these types of incidents increase, as increased unemployment and poverty inevitably results in increased violence. We feel some of our workers will be more exposed as a result.

Read More about these assaults on Council staff and teachers at:

200 attacks on Town Hall staff By: Terry Kelly South Shield Gazette 8 Jan 2011
Over 200 council workers in South Tyneside have been physically attacked over the last three years, new figures have revealed.
A senior councillor today condemned those assaulting staff and called for the courts to punish those responsible.

Many of the incidents involved care cases, but council bosses said they are taking a “zero tolerance” stance to the problem and aim to protect all their employees from physical and verbal attacks.

Other figures reveal that more than 1,500 council workers are attacked across North East England every year, with the total number over the last three years amounting to 5,019 attacks.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff is of paramount importance and we have robust policies, procedures and training sessions covering violence at work, lone working and personal safety.

“It is important to note that a large proportion of these incidents occurred as part of the care services the council provides, which are often to people with challenging behaviours.”

Read full sorry the attacks on town hall staff at:

Brooks Jordan response to violence and aggression towards Council workers
Addressing Personal safety/Conflict Resolution issues for Council employees
People have a right to be angry especially in the current economic climate.
Current cuts in Local Authority spending are causing anger to many people (including Council workers) and most people put the blame for this squarely on the Banking Industry see article below:
New poll reveals depth of outrage at bankers’ bonuses
Report by: Anushka Asthana, the Observer

Three in four think banks are still not properly regulated and want payout cap

Public outrage at bankers’ bonuses is revealed in a poll that finds wide support for a cap on payouts and tighter regulation of financial institutions.
A YouGov poll reveals the extent of public anger at City excess. It finds that 76% of people would support a cap on bonuses, that 59% support windfall taxes on bankers’ bonuses, and that 60% want the tax to be extended to those working in hedge funds and ¬private equity houses.
Politicians said today’s polling showed the true extent of public anger and revealed support for “wholesale reform” of the financial sector. Jon Cruddas, Labour MP for Dagenham, called on the government to bring in the reforms. “It is popular and it is the right thing to do,” he said.
Ruth Lea, economic adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group, said it was little surprise that the public was unsympathetic to the banks. She said that workers in Redcar in the north-east, where the local steelworks are being mothballed, were furious that so much was spent saving the banks. The “sense of unfairness hits you between the eyes”, she added.
Read full article at:
There’s a risk that health and safety risk assessments and Personal Safety /Conflict Management training will come under pressure with the cuts that are taking place
For instance where there needs to be two staff going out on home visits or trade inspections inspections, with the scale of the cuts there’s a worry there will be less commitment and emphasis on this resulting in a return to more Lone working.
As previously stated people have every right to be angry, but do not have a right to be hostile, abusive or behave violently.
Research by the NHS security Management as shown that good Conflict Resolution training can dramatically reduce the instances of violence against their staff and the introduction of their National Syllabus on this.
For more information on this go to:

Local Authorities have now even more responsibility to protect their staff with the introduction of the Equalities Act 2010.
• Harassment: behaviour deemed offensive by the recipient. Employees can claim they find something offensive even when it’s not directed at them.
• Harassment by a third party: employers are potentially liable for the harassment of staff or customers by people they don’t directly employ, such as a contractor.
Under this legislation Harassment is defined as any incident which occurs more than once and the Harassment does not have to be committed by the same person.
So if an employee is subjected to some form of Harassment and the employer fails to put into place some form of control measure after they become aware of this they could be in breach of this legislation.
There is now also the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

This new legislations enables enforcement agencies to hold Chief Executives & Managing Directors responsible for gross negligence if they fail to protect their staff and the first prosecution under this legislation is soon to come before the courts.
For details go to:
For more details of Personal Safety & Lone Working training go to:
For current training courses on:
Personal Safety, Conflict Resolution/Management, Physical Intervention Techniques & other relevant training courses go to: or www.