Veolia tackles abuse in Camden with new StreetKind campaign

Veolia has launched StreetKind campaign in Camden

Veolia has launched StreetKind campaign in Camden to limit the verbal and physical abuse of staff - Credit: Grainge Photography

Veolia has launched a campaign in Camden to protect its keyworkers from verbal and physical abuse.

Following a doubling of reports nationally, and a number of recent incidents affecting its Camden team, Veolia has launched StreetKind to support its collections and streets staff.

The new campaign thanks residents who recognise the hard work of their teams and are patient with them, and takes stronger action against those who abuse or endanger its staff.

Camden StreetKind

Veolia has pledged to staff that all reports of verbal or physical abuse will be investigated and strong action taken when necessary - Credit: Veolia

Veolia said while the majority of people are respectful of frontline staff, a rise in the most serious cases of physical and verbal abuse has led to a new commitment from the company to pursue more prosecutions. 

The campaign includes a training programme to support staff to defuse situations, handle instances effectively and know how and when to involve the police.

Frustration at being stuck behind a collection vehicle or queues at recycling centres are not reasons to abuse key workers and the company has pledged to staff that all reports will be investigated and strong action taken when necessary.

Andrew Reidy, general manager at Veolia Camden, said: “I often hear our frontline staff talking about how proud they feel of the work they do and its impact on the environment and our local community.

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"However, at times they don’t get treated with the respect they deserve.

"Based on the recent increase of verbal and physical abuse of our staff working out in the borough, we felt the time was right to launch StreetKind in Camden.

No one should be abused simply for doing their work and we’re determined to tackle this unacceptable trend.”

Richard Hulland, chief risk and assurance officer at Veolia UK  and Ireland, said hearing staff stories of abuse "has been incredibly distressing".

"Abuse is not part of their job description so we kindly ask those who come across our staff to be StreetKind and say hello," he added. 

“As well as appealing to the public to show their appreciation for our teams, we are also focusing on training and support for our employees to respond to incidents.

"We also recognise the impact to our teams from constant verbal abuse, therefore we will take the most serious action for the most serious attacks, including prosecutions, in order to build a safer workplace environment for our colleagues.”