Vicars are members of the most dangerous profession

Vicars
may be members of the most dangerous profession in the UK, according to a new
report.

A
survey of nearly 1,000 Church of England clergy in the south-east, suggests
that almost three-quarters have been abused or assaulted in the past two years
and one in eight physically attacked.

The
figures are drawn from a report on workplace violence affecting professional
workers.

The
survey, which was compiled by London’s Royal Holloway University on behalf of
the Home Office, shows that the clergy are far more likely to be attacked than
doctors, nurses or probation officers.

According
to the report all probation officers and three-quarters of GPs have received
training in dealing with violent clients but fewer than 10 per cent of vicars
have been given such training.

The
study reveals that four out of five clergy are unaware of any guidelines from
the church on dealing with violence.

Police
figures show that violent crime against professional caring groups increased by
14 per cent from 1998 to 1999.

Karen
Higginbottom

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