VIOLENT attacks on council staff in Clackmannanshire are on the rise, according to figures in a new report.

Public sector union Unison published their findings as part of their Violence at Work Report 2023, which looks into the number of aggressive incidents carried out on staff members across each council area.

Clackmannanshire reported a sharp rise in the number of attacks on staff over the last year, with the total rising from 420 in 2022 to 542 this year.

These figures follow a pattern seen across the country, with local authority staff seeing more than 10,000 more violent workplace incidents in the past year.

A spokesperson for Clackmannanshire Council said: “There is a comprehensive range of measures in place to protect and support staff across the various departments of the council.

“Similar to trends elsewhere, we have seen a rise in the number of violent incidents this year, although the introduction of a new system – and raised staff awareness – have also contributed to the higher numbers.

“Every incident of this nature is recorded and where necessary, we will contact the police and other authorities.”

Alongside local authorities, health boards were also polled in an effort to break down violent incidents per occupation.

NHS Forth Valley was shown to have a decrease of 27 attacks from the previous year, with 207 violent or aggressive attacks recorded in the past year.

This compares to 234 from 2021/22, with the health board commenting that they provide training and support on how to handle aggressive patients.

A spokesperson for NHS Forth Valley said: “We take the safety of our staff very seriously and provide training and support on how to handle potentially violent situations involving patients, visitors or members of the public as part of wider measures to help reduce all forms of violence and aggression.

“Serco security officers at Forth Valley Royal Hospital are available 24 hours a day to assist local healthcare staff and the security team wear body cameras to further reduce the threat of violence and aggression to staff, patients and visitors.

“CCTV monitoring is in place in a number of locations and we also encourage our staff to report any incidents so these can be investigated and referred to police, where appropriate.

“All attacks on staff are completely unacceptable, however, we recognise that, in some cases, aggressive or inappropriate behaviour may be linked to a patient’s medical condition or illness.”

Unison, the body behind the report, has called for urgent action in an effort to drive down figures across the country.

Scott Donohoe, chair of Unison Scotland’s health and safety committee, commented that violence at work shouldn’t be accepted as he backed tougher legislation.

He said: “We need action tackle the violence and aggression at work – it really isn’t ‘part of the job’.

“We now need action by employers and stronger legislation, regulation and oversight by government.

“The failure by some major employers to respond to our request is more than a break of the law – it is an indication that employers do not hold or gather information about assaults on their staff.

“This isn’t acceptable and we will take this further.”