[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has noted with alarm an increase in incidents involving the verbal abuse and threats of violence towards GWI meter readers, disconnection teams and Water Service Inspectors by GWI customers.
A release noted that currently, a GWI customer of D’Edward Village, West Coast Berbice is before the Courts for verbally abusing and issuing threats to a GWI meter reader.
The incident occurred in early July 2015 and involved the GWI meter reader requesting access to the customer’s residence in order to gain an accurate reading from his water meter; the GWI employee was then verbally abused by the customer upon entering his premises. The GWI employee stated that she was made to endure a barrage of offensive language and threats to her well being.
Upon reporting the incident to the GWI Customer Services Manager responsible for the Fort Wellington Office, the Guyana Police Force was contacted and a full report on the incident was provided.
According to GWI, this resulted in the subsequent arrest of the D’Edward Village customer who was charged with indecent conduct and verbal abuse. The incident was brought before the Blairmont Magistrate’s Court in July.
“The incident forms part of an overarching problem affecting GWI field employees who are experiencing heightened abuse by customers. GWI Chief Executive (a.g) Nigel Niles has mandated that Customer Service Managers make contact with the Guyana Police Force regarding any incident in which customers threaten bodily harm or engage in excessive verbal abuse of any GWI Employee.”
“The safety of our employees is of utmost importance,” stated the Chief Executive, “we will not tolerate any threats of violence towards our field operatives or customer service representatives stationed at our offices. The company will seek prosecution of any customer who attempts to verbally abuse or physically attack any GWI Employee.”
He further advised that customers must be cognizant of the fact that they are legally obligated to allow GWI meter readers access to their water service meters as stipulated in the Water and Sewerage Act, 2002.