DVSA launches campaign to stop verbal and physical abuse towards staff
A campaign aiming to stop assaults on DVSA staff has been launched following claims that the agency has seen a 50% surge in incidences of abuse.
The DVSA said that between April 2016 and March 2017, more than 300 vehicle testers, roadside enforcement staff and driving examiners suffered physical or verbal abuse while doing their jobs.
Attacks on staff ranged from screamed profanity and threats to kill, to damaging staff cars and offices and serious physical assaults.
Although driving examiners remain the number one target, vehicle examiners and enforcement staff are also being bullied.
The DVSA said in one incident, a driver and an operator of a Shropshire scaffolding firm made a false claim against a member of staff who had caught the company committing tachograph offences.
In June, traffic commissioner (TC)Nick Jones reminded operators and drivers that DVSA staff have the right to carry out their role without fear of harassment and abuse, after a driver became aggressive during a spot check.
Some enforcement staff have now taken to wearing body-worn cameras to capture evidence of abuse.
The campaign aims to encourage people to report assaults, as well as highlighting what action the DVSA will take. This includes referring all assaults and incidents to the police and including evidence of abuse as part of any investigation for the traffic commissioners.
Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive, said: “We do not tolerate anyone abusing, threatening or assaulting [staff].
“Our message is clear – whatever has happened, don’t take it out on our staff. If you do, we’ll press for the strongest possible penalties.”
TC Jones said: “My fellow traffic commissioners and I welcome the agency’s campaign to tackle the unacceptable abuse which staff may face whilst carrying out their professional duties.”
Northern Ireland Volvo Trucks dealer Dennison Commercials takes on record number of apprentices
Northern Ireland-based Dennison Commercials has taken on 14 new apprentices this year, a record number for the Volvo Trucks dealer.
The positions are across a range of departments including the vehicle workshops, parts departments, bodyshop and in-house maintenance. Dennison Commercials has been taking on apprentices for many years, but in 2014 it introduced a structured Volvo training programme to meet an industry skills gap and increased business demand.
“Our apprentices play an important part at Dennisons and we appreciate the value that the young workforce brings,” said MD John Jenkins. “The apprenticeships are hugely beneficial to the future of Dennisons and since we started our new apprenticeship programme in 2014 we’ve managed to plug skills gaps in certain areas.
“We work with each of our apprentices, ensuring they are given the level of support, knowledge and skills they need.” Dennisons employs 205 people, including 35 apprentices - around 17% of the total workforce.
Jenkins said the dealer aims to retain all the apprentices once they finish, and invest in further training and development for them. “We are fully committed to guaranteeing every apprentice a job at the end of the programme,” he said.
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