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Criminal Justice Bill Stage 3

Paul Martin MSP Amendment

UNISON Scotland very much welcomes the amendment Assaults on members of fire brigades or emergency medical personnel etc. to the Criminal Justice Bill.

As the largest union in Scotland representing over 150,000 people working in public services we believe it is essential that these workers are protected whilst carrying out their employment. UNISON supports this amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill.

Violence in the NHS

A recent survey carried out by UNISON showed that over 40% of nurses and other NHS staff were being subjected to physical and verbal abuse. Our experience is that public servants are unfortunately subject to verbal and physical assaults, surveys are showing an increase in assaults on NHS staff, and that the incidents are not dealt with adequately.

Last year UNISON called for standardisation across Scotland on the definition, recording and follow up on violent and potentially violent incidents in the NHS. We want to see training and procedures for dealing with verbal and physical abuse, and clear communication to the public that it is not part of the job to be physically or verbally abused. This amendment would clearly go some way to meeting these demands as regards Accident and Emergency staff.

Violence Against All Public Servants

Whilst we support the amendment to make it an offence to assault, resist, obstruct or hinder a members of the fire brigade or member of any emergency medical service, UNISON would also wish the amendment to be extended to other public service workers who are in contact with the public.

UNISON would wish to include:

  • Nurses and all NHS staff throughout the health service, not just in Accident and Emergency Departments.
  • Social Work and Social Care staff.
  • Environmental Health Officers.
  • Utilities workers.
  • Benefits Agency Staff.
  • Teachers and school support staff.
  • Nursery nurses.
  • Traffic Wardens.
  • Cleansing Operatives.

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For Further Information Please Contact:

Matt Smith, Scottish Secretary
14, West Campbell Street,
Glasgow G2 6RX

Tel 0141-332 0006 Fax 0141 342 2835

e-mail matt.smith@unison.co.uk

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