After a Nav employee was killed in 2013, Nav introduced several security measures. A report stated that it worked. At the same time, it is pointed out that the frustration behind the cumbersome navigation system can be a breeding ground for frustration and violence among users.
After a woman employed at Nav was killed in Bergen on Monday, there will be a new discussion about office security. Elisabeth Steen, who heads the Norwegian Public Officials Association at Nav, tells Aftenposten that it is natural with a new safety overhaul.
After a woman was killed by a user at Nav Grorud in Oslo in 2013, Nav implemented several changes to increase security.
Gives researchers at NTNU went through security at Nav’s offices in 2018, the bottom line was that the investment in increased security paid off. After the 2013 murder and several other serious incidents, both physical security measures and more employee training were put in place.
Labor and Social Welfare Director Hans Christian Holte tells Aftenposten that he will not go into detail about the physical measures that have been put in place at Nav’s offices.
But in the NTNU reports it seems that this is something that has been done:
- Several Nav offices hired security guards.
- “Secure zones” were introduced in offices, so that visitors could not enter “behind the counter” and into employee offices.
- In several places, chairs and tables are glued to the floor.
- Loose items removed.
- Alarm buttons were installed in meeting rooms, on counters, and in some cases employees received portable alarms.
- Several offices received their own staff.
Many offices were rebuilt, so the reception areas became more uncluttered. The visitors found it more difficult to hide. Employees also have escape routes.
In addition, employees receive training in crisis management. They have improved in the risk assessment of users.
– We have had an important training business. A lot has also been done when it comes to prevention and reporting, Holte says.
The measures helped
The investigators found that far from all the offices all the measures have been implemented. They are not sure if it is a sign of weakness. Many of the offices are small, where they have a good overview of the users.
One of the reports gives an explanation as follows:
“We were more vulnerable before, but one is dead and the other is hospitalized. Now he is calm. “
NTNU’s investigation concludes that the measures helped. Offices report fewer serious incidents after receiving new security routines. On Monday, Nav Director Hans Christian Holte referred to the report and confirmed to Aftenposten that the measures have helped.
Balance between service and security
On Monday, Nav Vestland Director Anne Kverneland Bogsnes said what happened is deeply tragic.
– What has happened is deeply tragic. Nav has an important task in society and we want to meet people without barriers and strict security controls, he said.
Bogsnes emphasized that Nav should be a safe place for both employees and users.
According to NTNU research, there is no contradiction between security and service. The response from the offices with visible security measures was that users did not react negatively. This also applies to an office where all employees go with visible alarm buttons.
However, the researchers note that there is clear potential for improvement in many offices. And they caution that security thinking often shrinks over time.
Frustration with a cumbersome system can be a factor
On 2018 master’s thesis it also points to several points of improvement. Also in this, several Nav employees are interviewed about their experiences.
One of the conclusions is that more work must be done to prevent Nav users from becoming violent. The work has consisted mainly of preventing employees from being exposed to violence, according to the thesis.
It is noted here that many users are frustrated and desperate when Nav has power over users’ finances. It also looks at how the navigation system is complex and demanding for many, which generates frustration and increases the risk of violence.
“First of all, Nav should be more accessible to users to make it easier to get in touch with Nav. Second, it is recommended that Nav improve its systems to make them clearer and easier to use for users ”, states in a recommendation from the thesis author.
Good services are the best
The 2018 research report also emphasizes that training and increased physical security are not enough. Users must also experience that they are taken seriously and that they receive the help they need.
In the aftermath of the assassination in 2013, Nav reorganized itself to offer users a better deal. Many of the employees point to this commitment as important in safety work.
NTNU researchers write:
“Several said this is good for the entire work environment and you get employees who feel better at work. The result is satisfied users who commit less violence and threats. Some employees from both management, counties and even municipalities they thought security had improved precisely because of Nav’s new organization. “