Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
March 12, 2019

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Workplace violence

Serco violence campaign launched to protect frontline staff

Serco has launched a zero-tolerance campaign designed to protect all of its frontline staff from violence, aggression and abuse.

SercoThe outsourcing giant’s Respect and Protect campaign comes after its workers were subjected to 350 reported incidents of unacceptable behaviour, including assault, in the last year alone.

According to Serco, the incidents include employees being threatened with knives and lone workers, such as street cleaners receiving unwarranted threats, assaults and foul language.

Serco staff deliver a number of services for local authorities around the country, including waste and recycling collection, parking enforcement and landscaping.

It has now drawn up a Charter of Protection with councils, trade unions and the police, which aims to provide a framework to prevent and manage the safety of frontline staff.

The framework encourages reporting incidents, supporting police investigations and fostering a culture of zero tolerance.

The campaign was successfully piloted last year in the West Midlands after a number of Serco’s environmental services workers were subjected to assaults, threats and abuse by members of the public.

“It is completely unacceptable that our people should be subjected to violence, aggression and abuse at work,” said Serco Citizen Services’ Operations Director, Liz Yates.

“Serco, our customers and unions have a common shared interest in preventing threats and acts of violence. Serco’s ‘Respect and Protect’ campaign is being launched in a joint approach to ensuring that the risks of encountering violence and aggressive behaviour at work are assessed, prevented, and if encountered, addressed appropriately,” added Ms Yates.

“We will not hesitate to report incidents to the police and support prosecutions. We will work with our partners and enforcement agencies to support our employees; they deserve to be respected and protected and we must collectively do all we can to ensure that everyone goes home safely.”

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