Protestors to target Job Centre

Police are asking anyone with information to contact 101. Picture: TSPL
Police are asking anyone with information to contact 101. Picture: TSPL

A demonstration has been planned outside Arbroath Job Centre in the wake of a police incident there last week.

The protest has been scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday and was called following the arrest of Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network (SUWN) activist Tony Cox at the Chalmers Street centre last Thursday (January 29).

Mr Cox was at the Job Centre in his capacity as a representative for a highly vulnerable benefits claimant to discuss issues with the Universal Jobs Match system which according to Mr Cox was causing panic attacks for his client ‘D’, who has severe dyslexia and literacy problems.

In a statement released by the SUWN a spokesperson said: “Requirements made of benefit claimants have to be reasonable and consider their individual circumstances. However, a few minutes into the meeting, it became apparent that the advisor did not want to address the two major issues of concern to ‘D’, Universal Job Match and her onerous claimant commitment. Tony and ‘D’ were eventually asked to talk to the manageress.

“However, this meeting was even more frustrating with the manageress again insisting that UJM was not up for negotiation, although it is not compulsory, prompting Tony to ask her to provide confirmation of her stance within the Department of Work and Pensions’ regulations. The manageress took grave exception to Tony’s repeated attempts to discuss the two major issues that ‘D’ wanted addressed, and she finally demanded that Tony leave the building or the police would be called. Tony refused to leave, but the meeting was brought to an end when it was agreed that another meeting be arranged to discuss the issue further.”

Police Scotland did attend and Mr Cox was arrested outside the building.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland said: “Police Scotland can confirm that a 51-year-old man has been charged in connection with a disturbance at an address in Chalmers Street, Arbroath, on Thursday, January 29, and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”