Sunday 28 November 2021
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Nottingham

Council considers panic alarms for councillors and staff

Broxtowe Borough Council is considering handing out panic alarms to councillors and frontline staff.

Cllr Milan Radulovic (Lab), leader of the council, said there has been an increase in abuse and intimidation to staff and councillors during the Covid pandemic.

It is a view which has also been echoed by Cllr John Clarke (Lab), leader of Gedling Borough Council, who described the abuse as “more and more aggressive.”

Cllr Radulovic is holding talks with the chief executive of the council on Monday, October 18, to decide whether panic alarms can be handed out.

The panic alarm would summon assistance in an emergency, and alert others to immediate danger.

Cllr Radulovic said: “I do not want to be using them, but it is the only way to respond. We have seen an upsurge in abuse and threats of intimidation.

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“I think they need to carry panic alarms – councillors and frontline staff.

“It should not be like this but there is no need for this amount of abuse.”

He said the council will also be working closely with the police going forward.

“I do not like people on doorsteps campaigning and doing stuff on their own. I think we will establish a protocol with the police.

“We will be letting the police know these events are taking place. We need to be more proactive to ensure the safety of staff and the safety of members doing their democratic responsibilities and duties.”

Cllr Clarke said calls to the council or through their social media channels had got “more and more aggressive during Covid”.

He said: “That is not just my opinion but from other politicians of all political shades. These people are standing to serve the community and it is getting to a point where we are under threat and it will deter people going down the political route.

“I am always wary of who is coming to my surgery, and we may have to examine how we do it differently because we are really vulnerable.”

 

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