More than an assault a day in UK Jobcentres

December 31st, 2008 - 2:45 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 31 (ANI): Jobcentres in the UK have turned into assault-centres, for more than one assault takes place in offices every day, show official figures.

Records from Department of Work and Pensions, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that there were a total of 440 confirmed assaults at Jobcentres last year.

Had attempted or verbal assaults were included, the figure could be much higher. In total there were 1,277 assaults at Jobcentres in the last three years.

Currently, Jobcentres boasts of over 1,600 security guards to protect staff and clients, who are paid almost 40 million pounds every year.

The Tories, who obtained the figures, cautioned that the risks and costs of violence against staff could increase with more people losing their jobs and requiring state help.

According to Chris Grayling, the Tory shadow work and pensions spokesman, the situation was “nothing short of a disgrace”.

“If unemployment rises you have to suspect that it will get worse, The Telegraph quoted him as saying.

He added: “The Government is talking tough on welfare at the moment in the hope that they can grab some headlines, but when you look at what they are actually doing, they aren”t even willing to take tough decisions to protect their own staff. It’’s all totally unacceptable.”

A DWP spokesperson said: The use or threat of violence will not be tolerated in Jobcentre Plus offices. In addition to prosecuting the people who commit such acts, as part of our welfare reforms we are introducing a sanction to tackle violent behaviour through a loss of benefit giving claimants the clear message that this type of behaviour is unacceptable.” (ANI)

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