Royal Mail Group (SHE) Safety/Security Flash (FY21 002) – Risk Of Confrontation (Violence, Harassment, Intimidation and Street Robbery)
A Safety/Security Flash has been issued by the Royal Mail Group Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Team (copy attached), for the attention of all frontline employees working in public places, to remind the delivery and collection workforce in particular, that they play a vital part in reducing the safety and security risks to themselves and customers’ mail by following the operational security standards as well as staying alert of their surroundings and being vigilant at all times. This follows an increase in the number of incidents of violence, harassment, intimidation and street robbery over recent months.
The large majority of Royal Mail postmen/women and Parcelforce C&D drivers carry out their collection and delivery work every day, across the UK, without incident. However, although rare, there has recently been an increase in the number of incidents involving confrontation, conflict, hostility and at worst members have faced threatening or violent behaviour, theft and robbery where our workforce have been targeted.
During the pandemic lockdown, with high street shops closed, people staying at home, and an increase in parcel traffic, there is the potential for mail/parcel items and Royal Mail/Parcelforce vehicles to be a target for criminals and there have been examples of this across the country.
Some incidents have involved conflict over postal service delays impacted by the spread of the virus, staff shortages etc., and other incidents have been purely unwarranted, intimidating anti-social behaviour targeting the workforce, although again these are not common.
To prevent staff becoming the victim of such behaviour, a ‘Risk of Confrontation’ brief has been prepared that outlines some key measures that can be taken to ensure personal safety whilst out in the public domain. This should be briefed and issued to all front-line employees.
Nothing is more important to RMG and the Union than the safety and wellbeing of the workforce. The prevention of employees becoming victims of violence, harassment and intimidation is therefore a priority. Employees have the right to expect to be able to go about their work without the fear of an attack or any form of intimidation. Whilst incidents are largely rare, there are some instances when and where these risks increase. RMG have put in place an improved framework for dealing with the risk of confrontation involving employees working in the community. It is important that the frontline workforce is aware of this. Being threatened or assaulted whilst out in the community can leave employees with both physical and mental health issues, both in the short and long term.
Key Workforce Messages and Learning Points set out in the Safety/Security Flash are:
- If you feel threatened or you sense trouble, avoid the area. Make your way to where there are other people. Inform your manager immediately.
- Avoid confrontation – it takes as much courage to walk away from threats of confrontation and intimidation as it does to become involved.
- Try to ‘back away’ from the threat or hostile situation.
- Get to know the ‘safer areas’ where you work so that if you are followed you can walk to a busier area where you know there will be other people.
- If necessary, hand over items you’re carrying to protect your safety and welfare.
Key Managers’ Activities:
- Managers must ensure that this Security Flash is delivered to all employees working in public areas.
- Managers must ensure that all employees working in public areas are briefed on and issued with the ‘Risk of Confrontation’ Work Time Listening & Learning (WTL&L Briefing).
- Where any concerns are raised by employees about their security on their collection or delivery round, managers must complete a ‘Walk Safe – Threat Risk Assessment’ (see attachment).
- Managers should print and display the Safety/Security flash on the office noticeboard and bring it to the attention of employees.
- RMG Security Flash FY21 002 – ‘Risk of Confrontation’
- RMG ‘Walk Safe’ Threat Risk Assessment Guide.
ASR Activity – Please Convey A Warning To All Our Collection/Delivery Members:
Firstly, ensure all outdoor collection and delivery members are made aware of this Safety/Security Flash telling them – ‘Don’t become another statistic! – Stay alert – don’t be complacent – be vigilant at all times – report all incidents to management and to the Security Helpdesk and where necessary to the Police’. Secondly, ensure ‘Walk Safe – Walk Threat Risk Assessments’ are carried out where necessary.
LTB 579/20 and RMG Security Flash FY20 001 – Vehicle Security
This LTB should be read in conjunction with LTB 579/20 and RMG SHE Safety/Security Flash FY20 001 entitled ‘RM and PFWW Vehicle and Vehicle Contents Thefts’. This reminds drivers that before leaving their vehicle, they should ensure the vehicle is locked and secured with windows closed, keys removed and no mail/parcels are left on view in the front cab area (mail/parcels must be locked in the rear load space). Never leave mail/parcels unattended, no personal possessions to be left on view attracting criminal attention and avoid parking in isolated areas. Be aware of the surroundings and anyone acting suspiciously and park as close to the delivery/collection point as is safely possible and practical.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer