Securicare pride themselves on being at the forefront of news relating to managing challenging, disruptive and violent behaviour.  In the following article we look at the impending report regarding the increasing number of MP's who have been victims of similar behaviour.

Four out of five MPs have been victims of intrusive or aggressive behaviour according to a study soon to be published in the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology. So what does this reveal about levels of violence in society?

The soon-to-be published study revealed that 4 out of 5 MP’s had been subject some form of hostile or aggressive behaviour. In half of those cases, they said they were targeted in their own homes.

The report shows that 20% of MPs had been subject to attack or attempted attacks, 41%  had received threats to harm them and 22% had experienced threats of property damage.

The report goes on to give details of some various incidents that have occurred. Descriptions of which included: “(I had) a knife pulled on me in the surgery”; I was “repeatedly punched me in the face”; the person “came at me with a hammer”; I was “hit with a brick”; “shot with air rifle” and I was “attacked by a constituent with a samurai sword. I escaped with injuries to my hand, but my assistant was killed.”

The latter incident relates to Stephen Timms MP, who was stabbed twice in the stomach as he held a constituency surgery in 2010. He said. “After what happened to me I was offered a knife arch for my surgeries, but I refused because that just makes it more difficult for people to come and see you,” he said. “It isn’t the MP I want to be…” Therein is the dilemma. How do you operate in the public space but ensure your personal safety?

Phil Hardy, Director of Securicare said, “In essence what this report highlights is that we live in an age where ‘customer’ facing staff bear the brunt of frustrated, angry and intoxicated individuals. The first question is how have we arrived at this position? Basically we live in complex times; where people are stressed and stretched, where they have too much to do and too little time, where they have high expectations that are not always met and where the culture is that if you don’t get what you want there must be someone somewhere to blame..”

“Whether it be that the person feels aggrieved at being denied a refund, frustrated at having to wait for treatment or angry at being overlooked or not being afforded the respect they believe they deserve the right to some form of rebalancing redress. The trouble is that the quick fix in their eyes is unfortunately some form of violence or aggression. It’s something that they believe can be used to get what they want..”

So is violence inevitable? Phil continues, “Violence and aggression should be seen as a possibility and probability. There’s a lot that can be done to reduce frustrations and address frustration and anger before it boils over. The further downstream you take action the easier it is. To defend against attack is to be reacting to events. The best results are those aimed at eliminating problems before they are allowed to develop. To do that you need to understand the unique context. The dynamics in play in an MP’s surgery will be different from those in an A & E, will be different from a high street store. What Securicare specialise in doing is formulating bespoke solutions to such problems..”

Changes can be made, the environment modified and polices amended but there is till the human factor to deal with, “The danger often is that staff end up feeling  angry or aggrieved at the injustice they face”, he continues, “This is when things often go catastrophically wrong. It can be like poring petrol on a fire.. The good news is that good risk assessment and planning as well as tailored conflict management training can make a massive difference and above all else keep people safe at work..”

SecuriCare offer a range of courses designed to enable individuals to deal with all facets of conflict, aggression and violence. These include ‘personal safety’, ‘conflict management’, ‘dealing with challenging behaviour’ and our popular ‘physical intervention course’

Contact us for more information and to discuss your unique needs: E: trainers@securicare.com or T: 01904 492442

Click for the full story from The Guardian/Observer