More Must Be Done To Protect UK Workers Says Security Man Held Hostage

Lawyers Demanded Reassurance That Safety Measures Are In Place

23.11.2011

23/11/2011

Lawyers acting for a man who feared for his life as he was held hostage by an offender who threatened him with hammers, screwdrivers and wrenches have demanded reassurance that safety measures in place to protect staff have improved.

Security worker Perry Colton, 59, from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, was left traumatised and in need of counselling after his terrifying ordeal when he was threatened and held hostage while attending the home of an offender to fit a security tag.

The father-of-one has now received a five-figure out-of-court settlement from security firm G4S Ltd which his lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say will provide some financial security as he continues to rebuild his life.

Irwin Mitchell is also calling on his former employer to provide assurances that safety is their top priority and that lessons have been learnt to protect staff at the firm.

Sally Rissbrook, a workplace injury specialist at Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office, represented Mr Colton in his battle for justice. She said: “Perry’s psychological injuries had a devastating impact on his social and professional life. He was forced to leave the job he used to love as he could no longer face home visits; this left him facing a future of financial insecurity.

“While we are relieved that his battle for justice has now been won, and that he finally has access to the funds he needs to start rebuilding his life, no amount of money will ever truly compensate Perry for what he has been through.

“It is totally unacceptable that Perry was sent to the house where he suffered his terrifying ordeal on his own. We understand the correct procedure is for new offenders to be visited with a minimum of two officers, but this did not happen as G4S could not afford to send double crews.”

She said that G4S, which denied liability for the 30 minute attack, also failed to provide Perry with a silent alarm which would send a message to the control centre if an employee felt threatened. This vital safety tool was taken from him when his employment was transferred to G4S from previous firm Premier Monitoring.

“It is imperative that G4S now demonstrates that lessons have been learnt so no one else has to suffer as Perry has. On this occasion they failed to implement the correct procedure for home visits and they now need to reassure Perry that their employees – and not cost cutting - is their top priority.”

Mr Colton said: “This incident changed my life forever. My working life was destroyed as I was in constant fear of another attack while my personal life also suffered enormously. I lost the will to do anything social and couldn’t face going outside a lot so I stopped walking my dog and playing golf. I was forced to stop doing all the things I used to enjoy.
 
“It took me a while to get back on my feet and it has been a horrible experience. Thankfully I’m now back working again. I just hope my ex-employers take every step possible to protect the people still working there. Although I’m learning to cope with what happened, the events of that day will never truly leave me, and I want to make sure no one else has to suffer as I have.”