Shoalhaven City Council

05/15/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/14/2024 22:59

Police support Council worker’s zero tolerance approach

Police support Council worker's zero tolerance approach

Published on 15 May 2024

An increase in abuse towards Shoalhaven City Council workers has resulted in a dialogue with local police on how to best protect staff from ongoing threats to their safety.

Council has a Zero Tolerance approach when it comes to workplace aggression and violence. Staff have seen disturbing conduct from some members of the Shoalhaven community when voicing their views around certain topical issues.

It is important the community can have their say, but that cannot interfere with the wellbeing of council employees.

Lisa Griffin, Chief Safety Officer, has sought the assistance and advice from local police in a bid to ensure the appropriate measures are in place to ensure the safety of employees.

"I want to be clear that Shoalhaven City Council will not tolerate abusive behaviour towards their staff," Ms Griffin said.

"We are all members of the community and want what is best for the towns and villages in which we live," she said.

"We have met with local police to ensure we have a robust process in place to both defuse situations and prevent violence and aggression."

Council employees have reported a variety of concerning incidents including screaming at traffic controllers and road crews, racial slurs, clothing being grabbed, spitting, items thrown at employees, and workers being threatened with weapons.

David Cockram, Detective Chief Inspector, said he fully supported Shoalhaven City Council's efforts to make the health and safety of their workers a priority.

"Violence is not an acceptable part of any job," said Detective Chief Inspector Cockram.

"The purpose of the NSW Police Force is to work with the community to reduce crime and violence and improve public safety, and this extends to supporting workers just trying to get on with their jobs," he said.

"We encourage all people to notify police when serious aggressive behaviour occurs or where their safety is threatened."

Council's new process Zero Tolerance - Preventing and Responding to Workplace Aggression and Violence is now being adopted across the business.

Staff from departments across Council were joined by David Cockram, Detective Chief Inspector (pictured right) at Nowra Police Station.

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