100 council staff attacked in 6 months

Wigan Town Hall
Wigan Town Hall

WIGAN Council staff are putting themselves at risk on a daily basis as figures reveal that more than 100 employees have been assaulted in the line of duty in just six months.

Worryingly, the figures are on the rise again after a lull in the number of attacks over recent years.

From January to June, 118 authority workers were attacked and sustained injuries at the hands of either social services clients, pupils or members of the public, which is two more than last year’s figure for the whole 12 months.

In 2013, 272 council staff were hit, kicked, pushed or punched, rising from 238 in 2012.

Incidents relating to assaults are reported to the authority’s health and safety team, but the council was unable to break down the types of assaults or nature of injuries.

It was also unable to reveal the job role of the victims, but it is thought that most will have been carers or support workers looking after vulnerable adults and no legal action was taken.

Sonia Halliwell, assistant director for human resources at Wigan Council, said: “This figure is based on staff across the council and schools who have notified us of an incident that resulted in injury or other adverse effect.

“It is important to make the distinction that this figure does not represent criminal assaults against staff in a legal sense and that the vast majority of reported incidents are minor injuries or other adverse effects.

“The safety and wellbeing our staff is paramount and they are encouraged to report all incidents no matter how minor to ensure we proactively manage risk and mitigate serious incidents.

“Where identified, employees are provided with specialist training to help deal with challenging behaviours and this has had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our frontline staff.

“Staff work incredibly hard to improve the lives of residents across the borough and many undertake some of our most challenging front line roles supporting the most vulnerable people within our communities.”