Charnwood Borough Council is backing a new campaign by its waste management partner Serco which aims to protect its front-line staff members.
Serco is launching a new zero tolerance policy towards any violence, aggression or abuse directed against its employees delivering front line local services. The ‘Respect and Protect’ campaign was launched in Charnwood in partnership with the borough council, the police, GMB union representatives and front-line employees.
Cllr Leigh Harper-Davies, lead Member for major contracts for Charnwood Borough Council, said: “We are delighted that this campaign has been launched in partnership with Serco.
“This can affect everyone in their workplace and I wholeheartedly support our employees who are carrying out important services every day.”
Serco’s employees deliver a range of front line local services across the UK, including collecting all refuse and recycling from the borough’s 75,000 homes as well as serving more than 30,000 customers of the Council’s garden waste service.
Over the last year Serco employees across the UK were subjected to 350 reported incidents of unacceptable behaviour. This includes assault, threats with weapons and verbal abuse.
Liz Yates, operations director, Serco Citizen Services said: “It is unacceptable that our people should be subjected to violence, aggression and abuse at work.
“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.
“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.”
A Charter of Protection has been agreed between Serco and its partners, including local authorities, respective unions and the police. The charter aims to raise awareness and increase understanding of violence, aggression and abuse at work.
This includes fostering a culture of zero tolerance, encouraging reporting of incidents, supporting police investigations where appropriate, and non-acceptance of unwarranted behaviour, together with specific training and support.
Jim Clarke, GMB Union – regional representative said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with Serco and the council to protect our members and we are happy to be involved and support this campaign.”