Leap in attacks on council staff

In St Mary's Walk in the old town.'Picture by Dave Barry 081799
In St Mary's Walk in the old town.'Picture by Dave Barry 081799

PHYSICAL attacks on Scarborough Council employees are on the rise, new figures reveal.

So far in 2011, more staff have been assaulted than in the previous two years combined.

040807 b cuts 16/2'Scarborough Borough Council Bin wagon

040807 b cuts 16/2'Scarborough Borough Council Bin wagon

During one incident, a member of staff on the council’s cleansing team was intentionally struck with a flying projectile.

Increases in verbal attacks on parking attendants are also at a three-year high.

Scarborough Council leader Tom Fox said: “It is always a concern when our staff are physically or verbally abused and we view it very, very seriously.

“We deal with it in several different ways including involving the police and court action.

“Our staff have the right to do their jobs without being molested.”

The figures, made public under the Freedom of Information Act, show that in total, there have been 67 physical or verbal attacks reported on council workers in less than three years.

Cllr Fox added that members of the public who abuse staff could also be banned from council buildings.

As well as the incident in which the projectile was thrown, two other members of council cleansing department staff, including bin men, have been victims of aggressive conduct after they were pushed and shoved this year.

In the last 11 months, two harbour workers were also physically assaulted by being pushed and shoved.

In 2010 there were seven verbal attacks and two assaults on cleansing services staff, up from just three verbal attacks the previous year.

There have been 14 reports of verbal attacks on parking staff so far in 2011, up from 10 in 2010 and seven in 2009.

No parking attendants have been assaulted since 2009, when two members of parking staff were physically attacked.

There was a total of 11 verbal attacks reported on Customer First personnel in 2010, although none were reported in 2009 or so far in 2011.