Binmen chased by knifemen
REFUSE collectors in Great Yarmouth have been threatened and verbally assaulted by residents unhappy with the way their bins are being emptied.In the worst cases, knives and other objects have been used to threaten bin men trying to carry out their jobs.
REFUSE collectors in Great Yarmouth have been threatened and verbally assaulted by residents unhappy with the way their bins are being emptied.
In the worst cases, knives and other objects have been used to threaten bin men trying to carry out their jobs.
People have turned to threats and abuse when council employees have refused to take waste that has been put in the wrong bin, or when they have been caught fly tipping.
In the most shocking incident, on December 7, a street cleanser was threatened with a knife by a group of five men who were looking through dumped rubbish bags near Bridge Street.
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Last month also saw a case of verbal abuse in Napoleon Place, while in March last year a crew were threatened by a man with a piece of wood after they watched him fly-tipping off Aspley Road.
A bin man was chased down Tottenham Road by two threatening men in May 2008 after the collector removed inappropriate waste from a recycling bin, an incident that was echoed by another resident in November 2008.
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The borough council empties bins from 43,000 homes a week.
Amanda Haldron, support services officer at the council's GYB Services in Northgate Street, said: “The assault with the knife is the most serious incident, it's nearly always verbal abuse - more talk and physical posture - but it's not what you want to have at work.
“In the heat of the moment a lot of things are said and done, people get sore because they are not happy with the policy - but it's not the collector who sets the policy.
“I think it's getting worse, it could be a sign of the times - people think 'I want this, I want that, I've got my rights'. I think the recession doesn't help, people can't look on the bright side.”
Nationally, the Daily Mail claims there were 160 assaults on bin men last year, including three cases where guns were brandished at workers.
Overall Yarmouth saw three incidents last year, two each in 2007 and 2008, one in 2006 and four in 2005.
Broadland District Council had no reported assaults on file.