Health workers and council staff were attacked almost 10,000 times in Glasgow last year, shocking new figures have revealed.

NHS staff were assaulted on 5182 occasions, an increase on the previous year, while at Glasgow City Council there were 4406 reports.

Public sector union Unison carried out the survey using Freedom of information requests to all 32 councils and 14 health boards across Scotland.

It also asked Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue and universities and colleges as well as a number of other organisations.

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Unison believes the true picture is even worse and thinks there are more assault either going unreported or not subject to freedom of information requests.

Police Scotland reported a slight decrease to 1685 incidents of assault against officers and staff across the country, and the majority were in the west, including Glasgow with a total of 985.

The fire service reported 61 assaults on staff in relation to operational incidents.

The Unison report stated: “The massive scale of violence against public service workers, including those in the community and voluntary sector, has been at least partially revealed over the last decade.

“What minimal changes there appear to have been might well be a result of more public services being put beyond the reach of freedom of Information inquiries through contracting out.”

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The union said it wants greater protection for workers and called on legislation on assaults on emergency service workers to be extended to all public sector staff delivering services.

The report concluded: “We now need action by employers and stronger legislation, regulation and oversight by government to end the aggro. It really isn’t ‘part of the job’.”

A spokesman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “Our staff are entitled to work free of threats, assaults and intimidation.

“We have a concerted and ongoing campaign to combat aggression.

“Despite introducing a range of measures to protect our staff we are unfortunately still seeing incidents of both physical and verbal abuse. Our staff receive a range of support, including Occupational Health, training, and support from Police Scotland.

“We have a specific policy on violence reduction and are committed to reducing and deterring such incidents while ensuring staff are trained to deal with situations when they do arise. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring we protect the delivery of healthcare 24-hours a day, seven days a week and enable staff to fulfil their duties without fear of assault or abuse.

“As a result, any act of physical or verbal abuse is taken very seriously. Where staff are assaulted or abused while at work, whether in our hospitals or in the community, we fully support them and encourage them to pursue their abusers through the criminal justice system.”