Council staff subjected to aggression, abuse and threats from members of the public

Cheshire East Council leaders have called for respect towards council staff following a number of recent incidents of 'extreme hostility' by members of the public.

Deputy leader Councillor Craig Browne and Councillor Laura Crane, cabinet member for highways and waste, said the aggression, abuse and threats towards male and female staff and council members are 'totally unacceptable'.

In one incident, more than a dozen residents verbally abused and threatened council highways' staff as they attempted to install traffic calming measures. Several residents also blocked the road to prevent highways vehicles entering.

The level of hostility was such that council managers ordered staff to withdraw and temporarily cease their work.

In a separate incident a female civil enforcement officer suffered a barrage of abuse and threatening behaviour from two men she was ticketing for parking illegally outside a shop.

The council worker, who was simply enforcing the law, was left extremely shaken and shocked by the experience and has required counselling. The matter has been reported to the police and is pending prosecution proceedings.

Cllr Crane said: "This is absolutely disgraceful behaviour towards our workers and completely unacceptable.

"Council highways and enforcement staff work for all our communities, carrying out vital jobs – day in and day out, whatever the weather – to keep our roads safe and traffic flowing. They should not have to face extreme hostility and threats.

"Council staff should be treated like anybody else – with common courtesy and respect. I am only thankful that none suffered physical injury in these incidents. It is shameful to treat anybody that way."

Cllr Browne added: "During the Covid pandemic, council staff have continued to work to serve our communities – often putting others' wellbeing before their own. I, for one, am inspired and impressed by their continued dedication, hard work and resilience – demonstrated, for example, by their commitment to our People Helping People service.

"This has been a difficult and frustrating year for us all. However, we should not allow our frustrations to translate into bullying or abuse towards those who are simply doing their jobs and serving their communities. Instead, we encourage people to share their views on council services through one of the many consultations we hold."

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Steven Mccrory
Tuesday 22nd December 2020 at 8:55 pm
While aggression and intimidation us unacceptable the name of the game is zero common sense or goodwill on the part of these frustrated plastic police officers. If there was some give and take and a genuine need to enforce these measures the general public would possibly not act in this manner. We have simply all had enough of being ripped off, enforced traffic calming, no where to park unless it miles from where we want to be and tree hugging snow flake behind closed door decision makers who are sat at home for 11 months on Furlough making wrong stupid decisions.
Stephen Justice
Wednesday 23rd December 2020 at 4:14 pm
So Mr McCrory, you’re saying whilst it’s not OK to behave like that, you think it is an unfortunate consequence of believing that the parking restrictions aren’t valid?

How about simply complying with the rules?

It rather seems like you’ve just admitted you’re part of the problem.
Mark Eden
Wednesday 23rd December 2020 at 4:18 pm
Could not agree more Steven. The State is in our faces everywhere now.
Andy Brown
Wednesday 30th December 2020 at 6:07 pm
The customer is always right...
Kriss Coombes
Thursday 31st December 2020 at 4:10 pm
Craig,
I hope you can enjoy your well deserved break. Thanks to you and all the Parish Councillors for your constant hard work, (both behind the scenes and hands on). After 35 years of residency in the village, I have never experienced a happier sense of community, much of which is due to this excellent team.
Happy New Year to everyone.
Tony Haluradivth
Friday 1st January 2021 at 8:47 am
I understand exactly what Mr Crory and others who have complained on the Wilmslow forum are saying about some "enforcers". Obviously dealing with illegal, carelees and dangerous parking is (which has always been a bane) what I do not like are the authoritarian and bullying stance of some Covid obssessed officers.
I have stated objections here before about the rude and aggressive tone adopted by some Police Officers loving to flex their "extra" powers during this pandemic. We were stopped in the Spring legally driving to collect a grocery online order 1 and a half miles from home. The nasty little officer un masked and breathing into our faces asking for drivers licence and reprimanding us for leaving home. These goons are one step away from the "Ausweiße Bitte" shouted on a regular basis at my parents by State officials in another lifetime. Whilst I celebrate decent and honest of the Police force and Councils, the power crazy should find other jobs.
Stuart Law
Tuesday 5th January 2021 at 4:27 pm
It’s a bit rich to ask for “common courtesy” when the council doesn’t practice what it preaches. For about a year I have been owed around £500 for damage caused by one of the Cheshire East roads not being maintained. Can I get any kind of civil response, never mind a payout ? Absolutely not, the council can’t be bothered and are about to get a court claim submitted wasting tax payer’s money with additional costs. With that sort of attitude it isn’t surprising that people get frustrated and vent and I think it’s about time the council took its responsibilities more seriously and ran itself more professionally. That might reduce some of the frustration of its residents in some cases perhaps. The ball is in your court and you need to step up.

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