University staff report 1000 acts of violence or harassment in five years

More than 1,000 incidents of violence or harassment against university staff have been recorded in the past five years, according to official figures.

The figures, released by universities to the Times Educational Supplement under the Freedom of Information Act, show there were 178 instances of physical violence and 832 of threatening or intimidating behaviour, including stalking, indecent exposure and death threats.

But the report shows that staff at different universities have experienced different levels of threats and violence.

About 37 institutions said they had not logged any reports of aggressive behaviour since 2000, while Kingston University, on the other hand, outlined 197 incidents in detail.

Liz Lanchbery, personnel director Kingston University, told the BBC: “We have a zero-tolerance policy with regard to violence or intimidation by any member of the university community, and we have comprehensive bullying, harassment and student code of conduct policies in place.

“Staff and students are actively encouraged to report any incident, however trivial, so that action can be taken immediately to prevent potential problems becoming more serious.”

Paul Mackney, general secretary of the lecturers’ union Natfhe, added: “Any threat or incident of violence is a very serious matter, but most lecturers who are working in a state of fear or experiencing harassment are doing so because of bullying from their manager, not from students.”

Comments are closed.