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TV Licensing launches campaign after increased number of attacks on enquiry officers

PUBLISHED: 11:48 03 November 2015 | UPDATED: 11:48 03 November 2015

A couple watching television

A couple watching television

Archant

An enquiry officer in Bromley said they received threats of stabbing

As part of Anti-Bullying Month, TV Licensing is launching a campaign to tackle the increasing problem of verbal and physical attacks on its enquiry officers who visit unlicensed properties.

In Bromley an enquiry officer said: “I have been followed, threatened with being stabbed, and had a dog set free to come and attack me. This was just one incident.”

Attacks on TV Licensing enquiry officers have more than doubled in the last year.

In the last financial year, 89 enquiry officers were victims of physical assaults by members of the public.

This is up from 37 in the previous year and included several instances in which staff were admitted to hospital.

In total, 360 enquiry officers faced physical and verbal assaults in the last financial year.

Tim Martin from the Harley Street Mind Boutique commented: “The stress of workplace abuse and bullying can take a major toll on a person’s mental wellbeing.

“Not only can it create significant mental health issues, but it can also manifest in physical illness as well.

“Because the effect of abuse or bullying is often damaging to a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence, it is important people seek proactive help – either from a trained professional or the workplace in the first instance – in dealing with such emotive issues.”

Colin Jones, TV Licensing field operations director, added: “The threats our officers can receive when they are just trying to carry out their role is completely unacceptable.

“Those who attack them seem to forget they are human beings.

“They do a great job, remaining professional and courteous in sometimes very challenging circumstances and we do everything we can to support them.

“This includes reporting serious threats and abuse to the police.”

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