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Public service workers continue to be attacked

Posted in: Criminal Injury and Assault Workplace Injuries 

Recently released figures have revealed that violent attacks against public service workers in Scotland only continue to rise. A total of 37,052 incidents of violence were reported to employers this year, a rise of 3,363 reports in the twelve months previous, and an increase of 17,000 from 2006 when records began.  It has been recognised that around 100 attacks on service staff take place in Scotland daily.

Dave Watson, Unison’s Scottish organiser, said that these figures are “completely unacceptable” and that more should be done to protect those working in the public service sector. He added that these figures are only “the tip of the iceberg” as many incidents go unreported every day. 

12 months imprisonment and a £10,000 fine

It was highlighted by these new figures that the areas in which attacks have increased most are the areas that have suffered the most staffing cuts. Mr Watson said that having an overworked workforce only adds to the likelihood of staff members falling victim to violent assault.  

It was pointed out, however, that there are now more people than every before being convicted under the Emergency Workers (Scotland) Act 2005, which shows that something is being done to punish those responsible. The penalty consists of up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a £10,000 fine.

A conference is to take place on Friday in Stirling to discuss how improvements can be made in protecting those at work.

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