Social Security is to close its southern office located in Port Erin from end of business tomorrow (Tuesday 22 July 2015). This follows a serious incident where a member of staff was threatened with violence.
Bill Henderson MLC, political member of the Treasury with responsibility for Social Security explained:
”Following a recent incident in the Ramsey social security office when a member of staff was threatened we have carried out urgent risk assessments at both our Ramsey and Port Erin offices. In Port Erin there is only one way in and out of the office and therefore no separate means of escape for an officer who is threatened with violence. The Treasury has therefore decided to discontinue services from those premises.”
Mr Henderson went on to say:
“We recognise that this will inconvenience some of our customers but they will able to access the same services through different routes. For example, for customers who simply wish to hand in a form or other document, we will ensure there is a supply of prepaid envelopes at the southern post offices for them to use. Customers seeking advice or information can contact us by ‘phone or e-mail.
“Of course, jobseekers will have to travel to Markwell House once a fortnight to sign on rather than being able to sign on in Port Erin. However, this will provide them with an opportunity to visit the Jobcentre and access the full range of support services available there for those looking for work.”
Mr Henderson added:
“It is unfortunate that the reckless actions of one customer will inconvenience many others. Should low-cost premises in the south of the Island become available, we will of course consider whether they meet our requirements for a safe and secure social security office. If so, we may be in a position to reinstate services in the South.”