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Crimes of Violence

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 14 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many reported assaults there were on staff of (a) his Department and (b) each of his Department's agencies in each of the last three years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (245452)

DWP takes the safety of its staff seriously. In 2006 we undertook a review of our unacceptable customer behaviour procedures and introduced a “zero tolerance” approach, encouraging staff to report all incidents however minor.

The Department serves over 20 million customers. Every working day we interview over 45,000 customers as we help them prepare for work, we visit 3,000 people in their own home and answer over 300,000 telephone calls to our help lines.

The following table provides the information requested for DWP reported assaults broken down to show each of the Department's Agencies. Traditionally, DWP collect and report assault data by financial year rather than calendar year. The information is broken down into three distinct types of assault: actual, attempted and verbal (abuse and threats).

April 2005 to March 2006

DWP by business

Actual

Attempted

Verbal

Total

Jobcentre Plus

399

1,134

8,820

10,353

The Pensions Service

0

0

29

29

Disability and Carers Service

0

0

43

43

Child Support Agency

0

0

1

1

DWP Total

399

1,134

8,893

10,426

April 2006 to March 2007

DWP by business

Actual

Attempted

Verbal

Total

Jobcentre Plus

583

1,017

12,640

14,240

The Pensions Service

1

0

29

30

Disability and Carers Service

0

0

1

1

Child Support Agency

0

0

8

8

DWP total

584

1,107

12,678

14,279

April 2007 to March 2008

DWP by business

Actual

Attempted

Verbal

Total

Jobcentre Plus

453

1,156

13,359

14,968

The Pensions Service

0

0

27

27

Disability and Carers Service

0

0

57

57

Child Support Agency

0

0

21

21

DWP total

453

1,156

13,464

15,073