“Our people ARE people,” is the message Gisborne District Council would like the community to take on board after a significant increase in abuse and threats aimed at staff because of where they work.
Since the start of the year there’s been a 39 percent hike in incidents.
Chief Executive Nedine Thatcher Swann says more of these occurrences require police involvement than ever before.
“Incidents have ranged from physical assault and verbal abuse to intimidation and low-level threatening behaviour,” she says.
“The abuse happens across all council teams, not just those that are customer-facing, and outside office hours as well.
“We’re also seeing an increase in unacceptable online social media posts directed at individual staff.
“Our people are feeling increasingly intimidated and scared.”
Ms Thatcher Swann acknowledged this year has been an immensely challenging time for people right across our region, who may be feeling hurt or frustrated.
“We may not always get things right, but our people, are people, and abusive behaviour is not okay. We’re asking Tairāwhiti please, treat people with kindness and respect.”
A campaign promoting the messages and featuring Council staff will be rolled out throughout August.
Watch the video here:Read more