Cumberland City Council is making a stance against violence, rolling out a new anti-violence campaign to curb assaults towards Council staff including parking patrol officers and rangers.
Council’s Work Health and Safety Committee received a report about incidents of verbal and physical assault against staff which found that from January 2020 to April 2022 there were over 65 reported incidents of either physical or verbal assault, with many other incidents that go unreported.
The majority of these assaults were reported at school pick up/drop off zones, parking lots, at town centres and along suburban streets across the Cumberland Local Government Area, including locations in Auburn, Guildford, Granville, Lidcombe and Merrylands.
The anti-violence campaign is encouraging the community to see past the uniform in an attempt to reduce violence and improve the working conditions and environment for staff.
The campaign will also build on other Council initiatives including license plate recognition technology, dashcam and bodycam technology, staff training and police support.
One parking patrol officer said the verbal and physical abuse they have experienced on the job has made them feel concerned about their safety.
“My job as a parking patrol officer is one that helps the community, especially at local schools where it is so easy for children to be injured by cars. When I’m approached by an aggressive person for doing my job it makes me feel belittled, scared for my safety and the safety of my co-workers. I leave home hoping to have a safe day at work.”
Mayor Lisa Lake encourages the community to take heed of the campaign’s message and asks the community to please be respectful to Council staff.
“These incidents of abuse and assault are just unacceptable. Alarmingly, a lot of these incidents are happening throughout our town centres, school zones, and residential streets where staff are out just doing their job.”
“Everyone deserves to work in a safe environment. I implore the community to work together to be kinder to our rangers and officers who are doing their best every day to ensure our safety.” Said Mayor Lake.