The District Council warns there is ‘No Excuse for Abuse’ against their staff

Posted on: Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Newark and Sherwood District Council is taking a stand against aggressive behaviour towards their staff and warning that there is ‘no excuse for abuse’.

Aimed to address issues staff face when dealing with abusive individuals, the new ‘No Excuse for Abuse’ campaign looks to end behaviour towards staff that makes them feel unsafe. It is important for residents to recognise that staff are there to do their job and should be able to do so in an environment where they feel safe.

Abusive behaviour towards the District Council employees is a growing concern with an increased number of incidents being reported inside and outside of customer facing Council buildings. The abusive behaviour has included threats being made towards staff and in a number of cases these threats have been reported to the Police.

Aggressive behaviour towards staff has included threats, being approached in an aggressive manner whilst in public spaces, verbal abuse in face-to-face meetings, on social media, or by phone or email.

During 2021 and 2022 there have been 59 violent incidents towards staff recorded. This included 41 incidents of aggressive or threatening behaviour, 11 incidents of verbal abuse, and 5 incidents of anti-social behaviour.

It is unacceptable for staff to feel unsafe, be threatened or receive abuse when performing their work duties and the message of the campaign is clear, there is no excuse. Anyone behaving in an aggressive or abusive manner towards staff will be prosecuted by the District Council and the Police will be notified.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “Our staff work hard to serve people and improve lives and it is unacceptable to ever behave aggressively towards them. I understand times are hard and frustrating situations are bound to arise, but we are here to help and abusing our staff will not be tolerated.

“Thankfully the majority of our residents have patience and understanding when dealing with difficult situations and it is only a handful of individuals that would behave this way. But a handful of abusive individuals is a handful too many, and be warned, we will not stand for it.”

John Robinson, Chief Executive of Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “It is vital that we all feel safe whilst we are working, whether it be in our offices, out and about in the district or during home visits.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy towards any aggressive or violent behaviour towards our staff and the message is clear - there is no excuse for abuse.”

The campaign follows similar action taken by organisations such as the NHS and other local authorities.