MORE than 120 incidents of aggression and violence towards Barnsley Council staff were recorded last year - including one incident which involved a ‘weapon’.

A report, which is set to be discusses by Barnsley’s ruling cabinet members next week, states there has been 123 incidents in 202/23.

It said: “Violent incidents are defined as any intentional acts that cause apprehension, fear, psychological or physical injury to an employee arising out of or in connection with their authorised duties.

“Or the deliberate damage to the property or belongings of an employee that is attributable to the carrying out of work duties.”

Most of the incidents occurred at primary schools, as there were 43 reported instances of violence and aggression - relating to four days of work lost.

The public health and communities department, alongside those who work in the growth and sustainability directorate were also among the worst-affected.

There was no reports in secondary schools last year.

“It is likely that incidents of verbal abuse outweigh more serious incidents involving aggression or physical violence therefore indicating an under-reporting of such incidents and a potential incorrect tolerance of such behaviour by employees.

“A total of 49 per cent of incidents resulted in no physical injury/impact on the employee albeit any potential non-physical impact is more difficult to quantify.

“An decrease in days lost due to incidents of violence and aggression increasing from 16 to four.

“One incident involved aggression with a weapon.”

Aggression and physical violence accounted for 100 of the incidents - whilst there were four times the type was confirmed as either sexual or racial harassment.

The majority of the events led to no injury.

However, on 22 occasions someone was bruised, 13 occasions of biting and even one incident which led to a member of staff with a dislocation.

The report said: “Our firm ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards violence and aggression to staff has been used effectively in holding perpetrators to account.

“However, this policy needs to be reiterated to clients, customers and service users by front-line services and incidents reported so that valuable information can be utilised in the risk assessment process.

“There is a higher incidence of ‘violent’ incidents within public health and communities, growth and sustainability and schools.

“This disparity reflects the nature of the work carried out and encountering challenging clients.

“This reiterates the need for an assessment to be carried out on clients when receiving any service ranging from social care to compulsory education to ascertain their requirements from both the client’s and employee’s perspective.

“There is a need for ensuring that the resources available for clients are appropriate to their needs, whilst also ensuring that the safety of employees, who are entrusted with the provision of services for these clients, is not compromised.”