Fire

Violence at work debate: hitting the target? A conference on violence in the workplace was held last month on Merseyside by the Institute of Fire Engineers--Merseyside Group. The conference brought together specialists from areas such as public health, investigative psychology, the Fire Service and the judicial system.(Violence)(Cover Story)

MIKE HAGEN, CHAIR OF THE Merseyside Group of the IFE, provided an introduction to the aims of the conference, the speakers and their subject matter. He stated that "good or bad behaviour influences those around us", referring to the Crime Disorder Act (1998) and the launch of the UK's first 'Community Justice Centre'--which is based in Liverpool and overseen by Judge David Fletcher, a key speaker at the conference.

FIRE Editor Andrew Lynch, who chaired the conference, highlighted research in the US that revealed there have been two million victims of violence in the workplace between 1992-1996. The figures roughly equate to 1.3 per 100,000 personnel and he stated that the UK Fire Service needs to "look beneath the surface ... and dig deeper into research findings".

Judge David Fletcher was the keynote speaker and he deliberated on the public perception of "low level" crimes, such as attacks on firefighters, stating that in his opinion, the public saw these incidents as unimportant--because of the punishments given out. He also noted the perception that crime is rising, but this is not the case, he said, and provided statistics to back this statement up. …

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