Serco has launched a zero-tolerance policy towards violence, aggression and abuse directed at its staff.
Its ‘Respect and Protect’ campaign seeks to protect employees who the company said had in, the last year, suffered 350 reported incidents of unacceptable behaviour, including assault, threats with weapons and verbal abuse.
Incidents included being menaced with a knife or gun, assaults on collection staff from irate motorists, reckless driving on pavements around refuse vehicles and threats against people working alone.
Serco said it would encourage reporting of incidents, support police investigations and offer training and support.
‘Respect and Protect’ was launched in Hammersmith (pictured) after being successfully piloted last year with Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.
Serco citizen services’ operations director Liz Yates said: “It is completely unacceptable that our people should be subjected to violence, aggression and abuse at work.
“We will not hesitate to report incidents to the police and support prosecutions. We will work with our partners and enforcement agencies to support our employees. They deserve to be respected and protected, and we must collectively do all we can to ensure that everyone goes home safely.”