I notice that the amount of verbal abuse/threat is considerably higher than actual or attempted assault, and this gives me cause to think maybe JC staff are accusing people of threatening behaviour when they’re just reacting with horror/disbelief/astonishment at whatever the staffer has just told them. As in:
JC staffer: “I’m sorry Mr Spoon, but you haven’t applied for any of the sex worker jobs on Universal Jobmatch so we’re sanctioning you for three years.”
Spoon: “You bloody what?”
JC staffer: “Hostile behaviour! Call security!”
672 staff members were physically assaulted in 2012/13 compared to 465 in 2011/12. The number of recorded instances of verbal abuse or threats rose by over 50% reaching 35161 whilst the number of ‘other’ incidents – which can include damage to property or fights breaking out which do not involve staff – has doubled and now stands at 6399.
The DWP claim changes to the way some incidents are reported has contributed to this huge rise in staff facing assault or abuse, however it is likely that changes to social security are also a major factors.
Jobcentre staff can now stop or sanction benefits seemingly on a whim with unofficial targets set by bosses to end as many claims as possible. Claimants who face sanctions…
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