Bin crews launch respect campaign
Bin crews, council managers, trade unions and police have joined together to highlight concerns over abuse, violence and reckless driving that endangers staff and the public.
Since introduction of CCTV on the vehicles a number of these incidents have been caught on camera, graphically illustrating the problem.
Oliver Sherratt, our head of direct services, said: "The vast majority of our residents know that the bin crews have a demanding job, working in all weathers, providing a valued service and like me are shocked and appalled to see the footage of assaults and near misses.
"Whilst the overall number of incidents are low, they are completely inexcusable, and not only endanger our crews, but can also impact on wider community safety too. The near misses from vehicles driving on pavements around a refuse wagon might just as easy hit a child as a crew member.
"It has to stop, and we will take action to prosecute where appropriate."
Why is this campaign needed?
The new respect campaign - which has the backing of us, Durham Police and the Unison, Unite and GMB trade unions - follows 24 serious incidents in the last year.
Chief inspector Lee Blakelock of Durham Constabulary said: "An assault on anybody is not acceptable. People carrying out their daily work should be able to do so without the fear of violence.
"We will work together with the council to tackle assaults on their staff and wholeheartedly support their campaign to keep their employees safe."
GMB regional organiser Micky Hopper, said: "Over the last year we've had a number of incidents where drivers and crews have been assaulted or abused and that can't be right.
"People have the right to be protected while they work and it is well worth supporting any cause that helps to keeps workers safe."
What should you do if you have a comment about our refuse services?
You can comment or report any issues you have on 03000 26 0000 or online:
- Report that a bin hasn't been emptied
- Request help with a bin
- Ask for a replacement bin/bin repair
- Make a suggestion or compliment
- Make a complaint