Serco, the giant corporation, once described by The Guardian as “the company that runs Britain”, has launched a new zero tolerance policy on any violence, aggression or abuse directed against its staff delivering front line local services.

Serco’s employees deliver a range of front-line local services across the UK, including waste and recycling collection, street cleaning and landscaping, parking enforcement, call handling, leisure centre management and providing cycle hire schemes.

The Serco Group recently made a public statement outlining the details of its new “Respect and Protect” Campaign for employees as it announced the initiative with representatives from trade unions and customers, at an event at Serco’s Environmental Services depot, part of its contract with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, in South West London.

In the last year alone, Serco says its employees delivering public services were subjected to 350 reported incidents of unacceptable behaviour, including assault, threats with weapons and verbal abuse. These incidents included:

  • employees threatened with knives and, on one occasion, a gun

  • leisure centre employees being physically attacked and verbally abused

  • call centre employees suffering insults, verbal intimidation, abuse and threats

  • a number of occasions where waste and recycling collection teams have been subjected to assault as well as abuse and threats, from irate and disgruntled motorists

  • reckless and dangerous driving on pavements, around refuse vehicles, resulting in collisions with employees

  • lone workers, including parking enforcement officers and street cleaners, regularly being the recipients of unwarranted threats, assaults and foul language.

Launching the new zero tolerance policy on violence, aggression and abuse, Liz Yates, Operations Director at Serco Citizen Services said, “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”.

Last reviewed 14 March 2019