Search

Free 40-page supplement celebrating the Queen’s record reign in this week’s Recorder

On sale now

Newham street cleaners subjected to ‘physical abuse’

13:45 07 December 2012

A Newham street cleaner says he is concerned for his safety after staff were physically threatened on the job.

A driver with one of Newham Council’s cleansing teams, who asked not to be identified, alleges a colleague was threatened with a knife by a member of the public on Newhaven Lane, Plaistow on Friday (Nov 30) for holding up traffic while they were disposing of a dead fox.

He said: “We’ve had one driver hit across the arm with an iron bar, another bloke was threatened with a knife, it happens all the time.

“One day, something really bad is going to happen to one of us.

“We can’t go to work without our steel toe-capped boots on but then we get threatened with knives.

“The council say they are following the necessary procedures but what can they really do about it?

“Does this mean we’re going to have police escorts just so we can do our jobs? Are these going to be no-go areas?”

The driver claims there have been 12 attacks on staff in the past 12 months - equating to one a month - a figure that both the Council and the Met dispute.

A Newham Council spokesperson said many of the street cleansing staff are trained in how to deal with confrontational situations and a counselling programme is available.

They added: “Incidents reported to us by staff are few, with three cases of physical abuse recorded in the past year.

“Each case is investigated and where perpetrators can be identified the council and the police make every effort to ensure those responsible are brought to justice.

“We would encourage anyone who may witness any such incident, to report it to us or to the police. There is no excuse or justification for attacks on our staff.”

Police say they have no records of the attacks but encourage residents to report incidents.

Latest News Stories

Schools minister Nick Gibb talking to students at the London Academy of Excellence in Stratford

It’s the controversial policy which has divided the nation – but that didn’t stop the government vowing to open 500 new free schools by 2020.

David Cameron
Chair of Shropdoc, Dr Russell Muirhead, presents Shred-it's Lindsey Greenwood with the award (Pic by J&PR Ltd)

Protectors of privacy “shredded” the competition to snatch the Best Service Award for 2015 at the Caradoc Supplier of the Year Awards.

Theatre Royal Stratford East auditorium during the refurbishment

The auditorium at Theatre Royal Stratford East has been unveiled after undergoing a refurbishment.

Naila Mir, third from left, with residents at the site of the new East Road mosque

A Salafist mosque set to replace Plaistow’s Deaf Community Centre in East Road is facing opposition from people who say there are enough mosques in the borough.

Newham Council

Most read news

Competitions

Happy viewing!

MyOffers are giving you that chance to win an amazing Samsung 55” Curve HD TV.

Read more
Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Read more

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder