The OMFPOA did a poll back in 2012, asking the question “As an FPO have you been subjected to any violence or threats?”
In answer to the question, we received the following responses from 239 FPOs over a three month period:
Yes, both physically and verbally threatened more than 3 times. 47.7%
Yes, verbally threatened 1 to 3 times. 19.2%
No, everyone is always happy to see me. 11.7%
Yes, both physically and verbally threatened 1 to 3 times. 7.9%
Yes, verbally threatened more than 3 times. 7.9%
Yes, physically threatened 1 to 3 times. 3.3%
Yes, physically threatened more than 3 times. 2.1%
So the math works out to 88.3% of FPOs reporting either being physically or verbally threatened, and 61% of FPOs being physically threatened on at least one occasion. I know in our experience over the last 4 years, we have had a couple of incidents that involved weapons or threat of weapons.
As a result of that poll and the concurrent local incidents, we implemented a working alone procedure for all FPOs.
The synopsis of that procedure is essentially that we ask FPOs to conduct a risk assessment prior to attending an unfamiliar property. The outcome of the risk assessment determines if additional FPO staff attend, if PPE is required or if we request other agencies like police to support an inspection. It was written to treat hazards generically, not just threats of violence. I’ll attach it in the member files area.