Hartlepool Borough Council increases security following rise in 'unacceptable and unreasonable behaviour' towards frontline staff

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Concerns have been raised over a rise in "unacceptable and unreasonable behaviour" towards council staff which has led to "increased security" to protect frontline employees.

Hartlepool Borough Council bosses have said staff safety is “becoming a real priority” due to the “increased incidence of unacceptable and unreasonable behaviour” from members of the public towards staff.

The comments came as part of a report to the finance and policy committee on how the authority is progressing in carrying out the aims of the council’s official plan for 2021-2024.

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The increase in abuse towards council staff was highlighted as an area of concern “that may impact on future progress”.

Hartlepool Borough Council has increased security at the town's Civic Centre to protect frontline staff from abuse.Hartlepool Borough Council has increased security at the town's Civic Centre to protect frontline staff from abuse.
Hartlepool Borough Council has increased security at the town's Civic Centre to protect frontline staff from abuse.

Denise McGuckin, the council’s managing director, said: “We’re having some real physical altercations regarding our staff from individuals who should know better really, but also some are in less fortunate positions.

“Staff safety is becoming a real priority for the executive leadership team and we are looking at how we can protect staff especially in the Civic Centre at the front desk, you’ll see increased security there at the moment.”

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It comes after last year the managing director and the then council leader councillor Shane Moore signed a declaration committing to a clampdown on abuse towards staff.

Denise McGuckin, managing director of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: "We’re having some real physical altercations regarding our staff from individuals who should know better really."Denise McGuckin, managing director of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: "We’re having some real physical altercations regarding our staff from individuals who should know better really."
Denise McGuckin, managing director of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: "We’re having some real physical altercations regarding our staff from individuals who should know better really."
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This marked the launch of a new staff safety policy, outlining how the council expects employees to be treated, covering face to face, telephone, email and online interactions.

Council reports around that time noted a total of 80 incidents of violence and aggression towards council staff were recorded in 2021-22.