Benefit office workers fear violent attacks

working in Jobcentres, benefit offices and new flagship Jobcentre Plus offices,
are more worried about being attacked at work than any other profession,
according to new union research.

half of the 5,000 Department of Work and Pensions staff surveyed had personally
experienced violence at work in the past year.

picture was even worse for staff in constant contact with the public, with
three-quarters (76 per cent) experiencing violence in the last 12 months.

research, conducted by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and
Safetell, found that 43 per cent were worried about an actual physical attack
compared to just 14 per cent of other workers.

Serwotka, PCS general secretary, said that no worker should be in fear of
violence and it was unacceptable that government staff should feel unsafe.

is damaging to these public servants as individuals and the quality of the
service itself.  This important research
will feed into the current Jobcentre Plus safety review," he said.

By Ross Wigham

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